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Think tank: Maine lost 10,000 jobs to China

August 24, 2012 | last updated August 24, 2012 11:18 am

A study released Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute reports that between 2001 and 2011, Maine lost 10,000 jobs, or 1.52% of the state's total employment of 656,400, due to U.S. trade with China since that country joined the World Trade Organization a decade ago.

The analysis was based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. EPI is a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit think tank created in 1986 that describes its mission as broadening "discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers."

Maine ranks among the 20 least-impacted states, according to the report's author, Robert Scott, EPI's director of trade and manufacturing policy research. States suffering the biggest net losses in jobs were California (474,700), Texas (239,600), New York (158,800), Illinois (113,700), North Carolina (110,300), Florida (106,100), Pennsylvania (101,200), Ohio (95,900), Massachusetts (92,700) and Georgia (87,300). More than 2.7 million American jobs – 2.1 million in manufacturing – have been lost or eliminated since 2001, according to the report.

Among the industrial sectors hit hard with job losses by growing trade deficits with China: apparel and accessories (211,200), textiles (106,200), fabricated metal products (120,600), furniture and fixtures (80,700), plastic and rubber products (57,600), motor vehicles and parts (19,800) and miscellaneous manufactured goods (111,800).

The report concludes that the growing U.S. trade deficit with China has contributed heavily to the crisis in U.S. manufacturing employment and recommends greater investments in training, infrastructure and innovation to revitalize that segment of the American economy.