Monday, December 15, 2014 || By Michael Romain
New study estimates 4,600 jobs lost in 7th Congressional District from ’01 to ’13 due to U.S. trade deficit with China
A recently released study (PDF: EPI US China Trade Deficit Study) by the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that between 2001 and 2013, the U.S. has lost about 3.2 million jobs due to its growing trade deficit with China. About 132,500 of those lost jobs were from Illinois, with a small fraction of the state’s total loss – about 4,600 jobs – disappearing from the 7th congressional district. That data point ranks it 315th hardest-hit among the country’s 436 Congressional Districts (including the District of Columbia).
Illinois’s 7th Congressional District, which is represented by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D), covers much of the western suburbs (including Oak Park, River Forest and a range of Proviso Township suburbs such as Maywood, Bellwood and Melrose Park), in addition to a vast expanse of Chicago’s West Side.
A country’s balance of trade enters into a deficit when the amount of goods and services it imports exceeds the amount of goods and services it exports. When this happens, more money is going out of the country than is coming in.
“Each $1 billion in exports to China from the United States supports some American jobs. However, each $1 billion in imports from China displaces the American workers who would have been employed making these products in the United States,” the study notes.
“Since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, the massive growth of trade between China and the United States has had a dramatic and negative effect on U.S. workers and the domestic economy. Specifically, a growing U.S. goods trade deficit with china has the United States piling up foreign debt, losing export capacity, and losing jobs, especially in the vital but under-siege manufacturing sector,” EPI states.
The study also mentions that some congressional districts in Illinois, along with those in states such as New York and Georgia, were “especially hard-hit by trade-related job displacement in a variety of manufacturing industries, including computer and electronic parts, textiles and apparel, and furniture.”
Illinois had six of the top 20 hardest-hit congressional districts in the nation and had the fourth-highest job loss among states in the country, but its 7th Congressional District was not nearly as hard-hit as many of the nation’s hardest-hit districts, which include some iconic and wealthy locales.
For instance, the three hardest-hit Congressional Districts all spanned California’s Silicon Valley, encompassing places like Cupertino, home of Apple; Palo Alto, home of Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University; and Santa Clara, home of National Semiconductor. In all, those three districts – the 17th, 18th and 19th – lost more than 150,000 jobs between 2001 and 2013, the study claims. VFP