Statement on jobs and trade data released this morning: Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
The good news: Another solid month of growth for manufacturing jobs in February, with 31,000 added.
The bad news: A steep rise in the international U.S. trade deficit in goods and services, which clocked in at $52.6 billion for January 2012, up from $50.4 billion in December 2011. The U.S. goods deficit with China also climbed dramatically, to $26 billion in January 2012, up from $23.1 billion in December 2011.
Commented Scott Paul, Executive Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):
"The growth we have seen in manufacturing jobs since January 2010 makes one thing clear: Those who say that manufacturing jobs aren't coming back are just plain wrong. But, there is trouble on the horizon. Our trade deficit with China is on the rise. That's an indication that while we need to invest in manufacturing here at home, we also need to crack down on China's currency manipulation, subsidies, and mercantilism.
"President Obama has proposed terrific investments in manufacturing through innovation, workforce development, and infrastructure. But the Administration's effort on China is clearly falling short. Within the next five weeks, the Administration will have the opportunity to designate China as a currency manipulator. The Treasury Department should take that step. And, the new Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) should launch a case against China on the auto parts sector, which is under attack.
"We can revitalize American manufacturing, as the recent employment data show, but only if there is a level playing field."