Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2725 September 11, 2012

US Jobs Supported by Imports from China -- Heritage Foundation Study


A new report concludes that imports of toys and clothes alone from China support over 500,000 jobs here in the United States in the retail, transportation, wholesale, finance, and construction industries, among others. This Heritage Foundation study makes the case that “increased economic activity associ­ated with every stage of the import process helps support American jobs. A lot of them.”

The overarching message is that the trade deficit does not cost US jobs, in contrast to other reports alleging that Chinese imports have resulted in massive US job losses.

Rather, this report finds that in addition to employment created in the physical process of getting goods to the marketplace and the final consumer

“many imports into the US start their lives as American intellectual property or components of goods, which are then modified or assembled overseas. The US is a world leader in the creation of intellectual property, in product design, and in financing, and many final products imported into the US contain parts originally manufactured in the US. High-quality American jobs are created in the early stages of what subsequently become import transactions, which are then wrongly said to lower net employment.”

The authors argue that both imports and exports are job-supporting and job-creating activities for the US economy, and that further trade liberalization is the answer to high US unemployment, not trade protectionism.

Read the full report here: Trade Freedom – How Imports Support US Jobs