Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125, email@example.com;
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 10) – Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers (USW) issued the following statement today on the record high for the U.S. trade deficit for a single year with China, that includes an overall increase of $1.8 billion in December of automotive vehicles, parts and engines.
“Last year’s trade deficit was another measure of our nation’s failed trade policies. The U.S. trade deficit with the world increased by more than 10 percent over the previous year, but our trade deficit with China reached an historic high of $295 billion.
“The success of our nation’s trade policies should be measured not in the number of trade agreements that are signed, but the increase in jobs and growth. Each billion dollars in trade deficits represents thousands of American lost jobs and the overall trade deficit has placed a significant drag on economic growth and our recovery.
“Albert Einstein is credited with saying that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ It’s time to update and reform our nation’s trade policies and to be more aggressive about enforcing our trade laws. Following the same old approach is insane.
“Next week, Chinese Vice President Xi, who is widely expected to be his country’s next leader, will be coming to Washington, D.C. Press reports indicate that he wants to address the ‘trust deficit’ between our two countries. That’s important. But, for America’s workers, they’re more interested in his addressing the trade deficit. Our leaders must not sweep our problems under the rug but should engage in honest direct dialogue and say that the time for change is now.
“Our bilateral trade deficit with China, of course, is only part of the problem. Our continuing problems with many other nations – Japan, Brazil and others – demand attention. But, China is the single largest contributor to our nation’s trade deficit and is major cause of job loss here in the U.S.
“A series of reports released last month by the USW, UAW and a coalition of manufacturing companies cited more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S. auto supply chain have been lost since 2000 and another 1.6 million U.S. jobs are at risk unless China’s illegal trading practices are curtailed. The reports document a surge from China of auto parts at a level of $62 billion during the past decade. Last year’s U.S. trade deficit in auto parts with China reached $9.95 billion.
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