A recent Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report found that the nation lost 3.4 million jobs, mostly in manufacturing, between 2001 and 2015, as a result of a growing trade deficit with China that’s more than quadrupled since the country entered the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Increasing from $102.3 billion in 2001 to $483.2 billion in 2015, the surging deficit has led to job losses in every state across the country, including Tennessee, which lost 69,500 jobs in that time, according to the report.
A news release sent Tuesday from Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, pointed out that the manufacturing sector, one of Tennessee’s largest industries, has especially suffered from the deficit, with a total loss of 2.6 million jobs.
“The bottom line is that our trade deficit with China costs jobs,” Paul said in the release. “A resurgence in American manufacturing is only possible if our trade relationship with Beijing changes dramatically.”
Because the EPI largely attributes the growing deficit to China’s technological piracy, protectionist policies and currency manipulation, Paul explained that U.S. must go beyond mere lip service to establish new trade terms with stronger enforcements.
“This report leaves no doubt that China’s trade practices will continue to impede a true jobs recovery unless our policies change,” Paul said.
The report also found that Oregon had the highest percentage of employment lost (3.82 percent), with more than 65,000 jobs displaced, while California had the most total jobs lost — 589,100 or 3.59 percent.
Tennessee, which ranked 16th in regards to jobs displaced as a share of total state employment, lost 2.5 percent of its jobs to China between 2001 and 2015, the report said.