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Report: Offshoring Cost CA More Jobs Than Any Other State In Past 3 Years

Trade-related job losses are spread across a wide variety of industries, from software to manufacturing and beyond. (Charles Csavossy/Wikimedia)
Trade-related job losses are spread across a wide variety of industries, from software to manufacturing and beyond. (Charles Csavossy/Wikimedia)
October 12, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California has lost more jobs to offshoring than any other state during the first three years of the Trump administration, according to a new report.

Unemployment data shows from 2017 to 2019, more than 26,000 Californians lost their jobs to offshoring or displacement from imports; a 123% increase over the three years before that.

Steve Smith, spokesperson for the California Labor Federation said people are really suffering.

"Each one of these California jobs actually represents a real person, a real family, struggling to make ends meet," Smith observed. "And that struggle has only become all the more difficult given the pandemic."

Smith said that means workers spend less money in the community, tax revenues go down, and
inequality gets worse, because people of color are hit hardest.

The Trump administration said its policies are designed to lower the trade deficit.

Will Wiltschko, director of the California Trade Justice Coalition said the administration's policies actually incentivized companies to move production overseas, because the 2017 Republican tax bill taxes products made offshore at a much lower rate.

"The federal government needs to really get serious about putting the interests of working families at the center of trade negotiations," Wiltschko asserted. "These trade policies were supposed to put America first but they actually continued putting corporations first."

Wiltschko complained the U.S.-China trade deal signed in January failed to address abysmal labor rights, forced labor and weak environmental standards in China.

"The things that the U.S. trade representative cared most about, was about protecting intellectual property and stopping technology transfer, which are items that large corporations demanded in order to feel more secure moving their production to China," Wiltschko contended.

Advocates want to see wages lifted here at home and abroad, with strong enforcement of internationally recognized labor standards.

Disclosure: Trade Justice Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA