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Think tank: U.S. trade deficit with China cost 3.7M jobs since 2001

Think tank: U.S. trade deficit with China cost 3.7M jobs since 2001
Most of the job losses were in metals and metal fabricating. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The "massive" trade deficit between the United States and China cost the former some 3.7 million jobs during the first two decades of the 21st century, the Economic Policy Institute said Thursday.

The Washington, D.C.-based think tank said the trade deficit between the two countries is one of the reasons why manufacturing employment in the United States hasn't improved along with the rest of the economy since the 2008 Great Recession.

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The deficit has been growing since 2001 -- when China entered the World Trade Organization -- and has added an additional $150 billion since 2008.

Among the jobs lost are those in industries in which the United States has traditionally held a competitive advantage, the Economy Policy Institute said, including in metals, machinery and fabricated metal products. Other sectors also suffered job losses -- biotechnology, life sciences, aerospace and nuclear technology.

RELATED U.S. economy grew by 2.3% in 2019 -- the slowest rate of Trump's presidency

Among the states hardest hit by the job losses are California, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin. The largest percentage of job losses was in New Hampshire (3.66 percent of total employment) and the great number of job losses was in California (654,100).

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The trade deficit continued to grow during the first two years of the Trump administration, rising from $347 billion in 2016 to $420 billion in 2018, a 21 percent increase.

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a partial trade agreement earlier this month to resolve an 18-month trade dispute. Trump raised tariffs on China to combat the trade deficit, which led to more than a year of a tit-for-tat trade war.

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The "phase one" agreement loosens some U.S. tariffs against China and secures new purchases of American-made items for Beijing.

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