Shift Changes: Pennsylvania auto parts plant closes, leaves 110 unemployed
What happens when China employs a host of illegal trade practices? According to three reports released last week, American industry suffers—and American workers lose their jobs.
The American auto industry, in particular, has borne the brunt of China’s cheating. According to one report, more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S. auto supply chain have been lost since 2000, and another 1.6 million U.S. jobs are at risk unless China's illegal trading practices are curtailed.
The latest example of a company suffering from the consequences of this disturbing trend comes from Waynesburg, PA, where Kyowa America Corp. will be closing a plant that builds parts for the electronics and automotive industries. According to the Observer Reporter, the closure of the Kyowa plant, which has been operating in Waynesburg for the past 19 years, will eliminate 110 jobs.
Though in the past the plant produced plastics for Sony Corp., in recent years it has focused on the production of parts for the automotive industry. Now, that industry too is no longer lucrative for Kyowa, in part due to China’s predatory trade practices.
As a result of China’s web of subsidies, its exports of auto parts have surged over the past decade, and a large portion of these exports are bound for the U.S. market. In fact, China is the fastest-growing source of U.S. auto parts imports. Since 2001, an Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) investigation has found that $62 billion worth of Chinese auto parts have been imported into the U.S., causing the auto parts trade deficit between the U.S. and China to increase by more than 850%.
This is bad news for companies like Kyowa that are trying to compete in the American market, and it’s time for things to change. The good news is, that, with strong enforcement of existing trade laws and the prevention of these illegal and predatory practices, the auto parts industry can continue to become an economic and employment success story—but only through a concerted effort on the part of Congress and the administration.
Learn more about China’s attack on the American auto parts industry.
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