News Release

Trade Numbers Reinforce Opposition to “Another Job-Destroying Deal”

AP reports today: “The deficit jumped 17.1 percent to $46.6 billion in December, resulting in the biggest imbalance since November 2012, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. … The deficit for 2014 overall increased to $505 billion, up 6 percent from the 2013 deficit of $476.4 billion.”

ALAN TONELSON, ATonelson at aol.com, @alantonelson
Tonelson is author of The Race to the Bottom: Why a Global Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards. He just wrote the piece “(What’s Left of) Our Economy: New Trade Data Wreck Case for TPP & Fast Track” for his RealityChek website. He is former research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a trade association of domestic manufacturers.

He writes today: “As President Obama’s trade agenda heads to Congress, new government figures show numerous U.S. trade deficits in trade policy-sensitive areas hit new annual or monthly records in 2014, including China, manufacturing, Korea and non-oil goods in both inflation- and non-inflation-adjusted terms. Since all deficit deterioration reduces U.S. growth and hiring, Congress should reject the President’s proposed new deals, as well as his request for new fast track negotiating authority, and focus on devising a new trade strategy that will strengthen, not weaken, the recovery and job creation.” He just tweeted: “U.S. annual #export growth in 2014 (2.86%) was worst in a non-#recession year since 2002.”

LORI WALLACH, via Symone Sanders, ssanders at citizen.org, @PCGTW
Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Wallach said today: “This abysmal new data shows how the past agreements that serve as the template for the trade deals Obama is now pushing destroy more middle class jobs and further suppress wages, which spotlights why there is so much congressional and public opposition to Fast Tracking the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact. President Obama’s goal of doubling exports has failed dramatically in part due to slow and even declining U.S. exports under recent ‘trade’ deals. Today’s data reveal that U.S. exports to Korea are actually lower than in 2011 before implementation of the Korea pact that was used as the U.S. template for the TPP. Since the Korea FTA, our trade deficit with Korea has surged more than 80 percent, which equates to the loss of more than 70,000 U.S. jobs — the same number of jobs that the administration promised would be gained under the FTA. Given the TPP is based on the Korea deal, the new data just reinforce why members of Congress and the American public will not support another job-destroying deal.”