This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the latest monthly U.S. trade figures:
- The overall U.S. international goods and services trade rose to $47.2 billion in April, from $44.2 billion in March, revised.
- The U.S. goods deficit with China soared in April to $27.3 billion, from $20.4 billion in March.
- The U.S. goods deficit with Japan rose slightly in April to $6.0 billion, from $5.9 billion in March.
- The U.S. goods deficit with South Korea rose in April for the second straight month, to $2.3 billion, from $1.3 billion in March.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
"The rising trade deficit may be the worst economic news we’ve seen so far this month.
"There is no doubt that surging imports from South Korea have led to layoffs in steel mills in Texas and Pennsylvania this week. And there’s also no doubt in my mind that these steel products were dumped into this market, in violation of America’s trade laws.
"Japan and South Korea accounted for $8.3 billion of our trade deficit in April. Both nations are strong allies of the United States, but that does not entitle them to a blank check to manipulate currency, subsidize industries, block our exports, or dump their products into our market. The Obama Administration should refocus its trade efforts on enforcement actions.
"China does not deserve a blank check either. On this 25th anniversary of the slaughter of pro-democracy advocates in Tiananmen Square by the Chinese military, it’s worth remembering that expanded bilateral trade has done nothing to move China in the direction of more democracy and human rights. In many ways, our bilateral trade deficit with China, which soared to $27.3 billion in April, enables Beijing’s tools of oppression. Congress and the Administration are right to commemorate this day, but what’s really needed is a bolder policy on trade with China."
Surging Steel Imports Threaten More Than a Half Million U.S. Jobs.
A new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart found that U.S. steel production supported 583,600 jobs in 2012. These jobs are at risk from surging imports of dumped steel product. Of particular concern is a surge of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imports, primarily from South Korea. This steel pipe is "dumped" -- priced below fair value and in deceptive ways that are designed to circumvent international trade laws. Failure to enforce U.S. trade laws against this surge of OCTG pipe puts American jobs on the line and risks outsourcing the benefits of America’s energy boom.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers. Our mission is to strengthen American manufacturing and create new private-sector jobs through smart public policies. We believe that an innovative and growing manufacturing base is vital to America’s economic and national security, as well as to providing good jobs for future generations. AAM achieves its mission through research, public education, advocacy, strategic communications, and coalition building around the issues that matter most to America’s manufacturers and workers.