WASHINGTON (Aug. 31, 2:15 p.m. ET) — The continuing trade deficit continues to cost the United States manufacturing jobs, says the latest trade deficit report from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.
“The $169 billion three-year increase in the global U.S. deficit ... to a projected $495 billion in 2012 has resulted in a trade-related loss of 700,000 to 1.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs, or almost 10 percent of total manufacturing employment,” since 2009, said Ernest Preeg, senior advisor for international trade and finance at the Arlington, Va., association.
That number includes an estimated manufacturing job loss in 2012 that is related to the trade deficit of anywhere from 130,000 to 260,000 jobs, he said.
The latest trade deficit from MAPI, released Aug. 29, said that the U.S. global trade deficit in manufacturing rose by 7 percent, or by $15 billion, in the first half of 2012 compared with 2011, while the Chinese surplus soared by 24 percent, or by $67 billion.
Manufactured goods constitute the dominant sector of trade, accounting for about 95 percent of Chinese and about 75 percent of U.S. merchandise exports, said MAPI, which contends that two-thirds of U.S. civilian research and development and new patents derive from the manufacturing sector.
One positive sign in the trade numbers: U.S. manufactured exports increased by 9 percent, or $48 billion, in the first half compared with 2011, while imports rose by 8 percent, or $62 billion. “The faster pace of export growth, however slight, is a welcome and positive sign,” Preeg said.
By contrast, though, Chinese manufactured exports in the first half of 2012 rose by 11 percent, or $80 billion, while its imports rose by only 2 percent, or $13 billion. “The large increase in the Chinese surplus comes at the expense of growing deficits abroad, which are especially difficult to handle at this time,” he said.
MAPI said that U.S. manufactured imports from China are more than six times larger than U.S. exports to China. “The entire bilateral U.S. deficit of $162 billion equates to 71 percent of the $228 billion global U.S. deficit, and to almost half of the global Chinese surplus,” Preeg said.