Statement of UAW President Rory Gamble in the Phase 1 Trade Agreement with China
“Over the past several decades, corporate driven trade deals and tax laws with anti-labor incentives have rewarded companies that abandoned U.S. workers and communities. This has resulted in millions of good manufacturing jobs being shipped overseas to countries that trample workers’ rights, suppress workers’ wages and diminish dignity on the job. China is one of those countries – and as you would assume, over this time, our trade deficit with China has exploded.
Between 2001 and 2018, the U.S. trade deficit in goods grew over 500%, to over $400 billion in in 2018. According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade with China over the same period eliminated 3.7 million U.S. jobs, including 2.8 million jobs in manufacturing. Fixing trade with China is not a partisan issue. It is a worker issue. Workers have been let down by Republican and Democratic Administrations alike.
Unfortunately, it does not appear the Phase 1 trade agreement with China will put an end to these trade deficits and job losses. Phase 1 does not include democratic labor reforms or enforcement mechanisms to protect workers’ rights, lacks enforceable measures against currency manipulation, fails to limit massive subsidies to Chinese companies or end state ownership of enterprises that are central to the Chinese government’s predatory practices that kill U.S. jobs. Furthermore, the Administration agreed to stop labeling China as a currency manipulator despite their long history in gaming the system to make their products cheaper in the U.S. and abroad. “