Rep. Mike Michaud, chairman of the House Trade Working Group, highlighted a new report issued by the Economic Policy Institute on Wednesday, discovering that the U.S. trade deficit with China has cost the United States 2.8 million jobs since China entered the World Trade Organization 10 years ago.
Of the 2.8 million jobs, the report found that 9,545 jobs in Maine have been lost during that span.
“This is the wrong time to focus our national trade agenda on passing more free trade agreements that will only result in more U.S. jobs losses,” said Michaud. “I’m afraid that Washington is taking its eye off the ball by pursuing more of the same, failed trade policies. We need to focus on the big issues, such as our trade deficit and constant struggles with China’s unfair trade practices.”
The EPI report also discovered that China’s practice of manipulating its currency significantly contributed to the trade deficit with the United States.
Michaud and his colleagues introduced a bill earlier this year that would arm the U.S. with the tools it needs to crack down on countries that manipulate their currencies to keep their imports to the U.S. artificially cheap, and are currently working to gather signatures on a discharge petition, which would force the House to vote on the bill.
“Now is the time to act on this bill,” said Michaud. “It received bipartisan support when it passed the House last year and it’s beyond me why congressional leaders won’t take it up this year. This is a jobs bill that won’t cost the taxpayers a dime and could substantially reduce a trade deficit that has devastated our economy.”