CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio lost 112,500 jobs in 2015 resulting from the United States’ trade deficit with countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
That places Ohio sixth, in terms of the percentage of jobs lost to trade with TPP countries, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked in the report released Thursday by the liberal Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The lost jobs represent nearly 2.2 percent of employment in Ohio, according to the analysis.
The total number of lost jobs includes those directly and indirectly impacted by the trade deficit with TPP countries. It also includes the number of jobs EPI says would have been created through the multiplier or “respending effect” had trade with those countries been more balanced.
The TPP is a free trade agreement between the United States and 11 partnership countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. While the countries have reached final agreement on the trade accord, it probably will not go into effect for several months. The agreement must clear several hurdles, including final ratification by Congress.
The trade agreement’s opponents, who include many unions, say TPP will lead to job loss. The EPI analysis supports such a viewpoint. Among the factors that would encourage job loss is currency manipulation, which “occurs when a country artificially depresses the value of its currency,” according to the analysis, which was co-authored by Robert E. Scott, a senior EPI economist and director of trade and manufacturing policy Research.
“Currency manipulation is one of the key driving forces behind the high and rapidly rising U.S. trade deficit with the 11 other members of the TPP,” states the report, co-authored by Elizabeth Glass, an EPI trade and manufacturing policy research assistant. “In 2015, the U.S. deficit with TPP countries translated into 2 million U.S. jobs lost, more than half (1.1 million) of which were in manufacturing.”
The report says that the TPP should include “a set of restrictions and/or enforceable penalties against member countries that engage in currency manipulation.”
“Without such provisions against currency manipulation, the TPP could well follow other trade agreements and leave even greater U.S. trade deficits in its wake,” the report states.
Such concerns about currency manipulation are unfounded, according the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website.
“We have worked with macroeconomic authorities of TPP countries to secure a joint declaration that recognize our mutual interest in addressing unfair currency practices,” it states.
The Obama Administration has championed the TPP.
“With the TPP, we can rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class,” states whitehouse.gov. “Because if we don’t, competitors who don’t share our values, like China, will step in to fill that void.”
However, the EPI report says the middle class has already been hard hit by “unfairly traded goods from TPP member countries.”
“Seven of the 10 states with the highest job losses (as a share of total employment) are in the Midwest or Southeast, in states where manufacturing (especially of motor vehicles and parts) predominates,” the report states.
Those states are:
- Michigan (214,600 jobs lost, equal to 5.12 percent of employment)
- Indiana (103,800 jobs, 3.54 percent)
- Kentucky (53,700 jobs, 2.92 percent)
- Alabama (46,000 jobs, 2.32 percent)
- Tennessee (61,000 jobs, 2.19 percent)
- Ohio (112,500 jobs, 2.16 percent)
- Mississippi (22,000 jobs, 1.86 percent)
The other states on the list suffered major job losses, but they were influenced “by the collapse of the oil industry and related sectors,” according to EPI.
- Oklahoma (35,300 jobs, 2.10 percent)
- Wyoming (6,800 jobs, 2.34 percent)
- Alaska (6,300 jobs, 1.83 percent)
The report is based on the analysis of government data, including that from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Wages lost because of direct and indirect job cuts from the trade deficits with the TPP member countries would have supported an additional 759,700 respending jobs,” the report stated. “The direct, indirect, and respending jobs displaced by the U.S. trade deficit with TPP member countries totals 2,025,800 jobs lost.”