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Trade deficit has cost Illinois 118,000 jobs

Updated: November 10, 2011 2:59PM

In Illinois, 118,200 net jobs were lost or displaced between 2001 and 2010 because of the trade deficit with China, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.

The study released Tuesday found Illinois gained 21,200 jobs because of exports to China, but 139,400 were lost because of imports from China.

Nationally, 2.8 million net jobs were lost or displaced, the study found, factoring in 488,800 jobs created from exports and 3.28 million jobs lost from imports. Illinois had the fourth- highest number of jobs lost or displaced.

The study found 1.9 million of the net jobs lost nationally were in manufacturing, representing nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during the period.

The trade deficit with China grew from $84 billion in 2001 to $278 billion in 2010, the institute said.

The deficit with China is exacerbated by currency manipulation, according to study author Robert Scott. Because China has pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar instead of allowing it to fluctuate freely, the yuan has remained artificially low, effectively subsidizing Chinese exports and artificially raising the cost of U.S. exports, Scott said in the report.

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