Final 2015 Manufactures Trade Figures Show Stark Contrast
The U.S. manufactures trade picture continued to dim in 2015, especially when compared with China, causing significant job decreases, according to an analysis from the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.
In the report, Ernest Preeg, Ph.D., MAPI Foundation senior advisor for international trade and finance, notes that the U.S. deficit in manufactured goods increased by 16%, or $89 billion, in 2015 compared with 2014. Preeg estimates a trade-related job loss of 600,000 American manufacturing jobs. This is on top of 400,000 job losses in 2014, according to Preeg's estimates.
Meanwhile, the Chinese trade surplus in manufactures was up 5%, or $48 billion, on a year-over-year basis. Preeg maintains these data significantly understate the actual growth in the surplus.
"Because of over-invoicing of imports to circumvent restrictions on capital outflow, the actual surplus totaled $1.1 trillion," he said.
Sixty percent of the global U.S. deficit, or $387 billion, was with China. Three Asian TPP participants—Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam—recorded a deficit of $132 billion, or 20% of the global deficit. U.S. imports from Vietnam were $34 billion, or nine times larger than the $4 billion of U.S. exports to Vietnam.
The four principal EU trading partners that the report analyzes show a sharp distinction between the three members of the eurozone—Germany, France, and Italy—with a U.S. deficit of $110 billion, of which $73 billion was with Germany, and the non-eurozone United Kingdom, with only a $2 billion deficit.
"This reflects the undervalued euro to the dollar over the past several years for price-sensitive manufactures," Preeg said.