Feds: At Least 109K Americans Lost Their Jobs Due to Free Trade in 2020

A homeless person walks by a closed business with a sign reading "For Lease" in Santa Monica, California, on July 28, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

The federal government certified nearly 109,000 Americans last year as having lost their jobs due to free trade and globalization, federal data show.

While the Chinese coronavirus crisis has left targeted damage to the United States economy, the outsourcing and offshoring of American jobs to foreign countries due to free trade has continued almost unabated.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), operated by the Department of Labor, certifies a portion of Americans who have lost their jobs to free trade and globalization, but the count is likely higher. In 2020, about 108,846 Americans lost their jobs as a result of free trade.

A U.S. Steel tube and pipe plant in Lorain, Ohio, for example, laid off 200 Americans after idling in June 2020. United Steelworkers (USW) officials said the “overwhelming and continued high levels of imported tubular products has negatively impacted the demand for the facility’s products to the point of an indefinite idling of all tubular operations at the Lorain Tubular facility.”

In another case, a Titanium Metals Corporation (TIMET) plant in Toronto, Ohio, laid off about 300 of its workers. USW officials said “foreign trade [was] a factor in the downsizing and layoff” of the workers.

Metal Powder Productions, a company supplying powdered metal products, in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania said they had to lay off about 23 of their employees because of “loss of sales due to foreign competition.”

An auto parts manufacturer in Auburn, Indiana, announced in November 2020 that they would be closing the plant down, leaving nearly 110 Americans without jobs. In a certified TAA filing, United Auto Workers (UAW) officials said the closure was because the Eaton Corporation is “shifting the work and 5o to 75 percent of our orders to another plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.”

Similarly, in South Bend, Indiana, a pistons manufacturing plant operated by Tenneco laid off more than 270 of its employees. In the TAA filing, the layoffs were blamed on “an effort to remain competitive within the global market” and noted “the piston manufacturing jobs will [be] transferred to Tenneco locations outside of the U.S.”

U.S. free trade policy in 2020 was particularly harmful to American workers in Washington, Oregon, and Kansas — about 31,000 of whom saw their jobs eliminated. Likewise, California, Texas, Utah, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania saw a combined 36,323 of its residents lose jobs as a result of free trade last year.

The job loss is on par with recent previous years. In 2019, for instance, nearly 87,000 Americans were certified as having lost their jobs to free trade. In 2018, the total was more than 79,000 Americans while in 2017, about 84,400 were certified.

Since 2001, U.S. free trade with China, alone, has eliminated at least 3.4 million American jobs. In 1985, before China entered the World Trade Organization, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion.

American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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