Report: Walmart Tied To 314K Lost Manufacturing Jobs

The report also blamed Walmart for 15 percent of the growth in the U.S.-China trade deficit between 2001 and 2013.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

A new report from a liberal think tank attributes the loss of more than 314,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs to Walmart's trade with China.

The analysis by the Economic Policy Institute argued that the trade deficit between the U.S. and China linked to Walmart alone eliminated or displaced more than 400,000 positions between 2001 and 2013, and that more than 75 percent were classified as manufacturing jobs.

In addition, the report blamed Walmart for 15 percent of the growth in the U.S.-China trade deficit during that span.

"While Wal-Mart was responsible for 11.2 percent of U.S. imports in this period, it was responsible for 13.2 percent of the U.S. job losses due to growing trade deficits with China," wrote EPI trade and manufacturing research director Robert E. Scott.

The report also took a shot at Walmart's pledge to purchase $250 billion in products that support U.S. jobs. Scott wrote that the jobs displaced by Walmart's China trade outnumbered those created by the program by 100 to one.

Walmart disputed the findings as "an old report with flawed economic analysis" that failed to consider jobs added along its massive supply chain. The world's largest retailer said that its pledge would create 250,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs.

“We are very proud of our U.S. manufacturing initiative, and the results speak for themselves," said spokesman Lorenzo Lopez.
 

EPI and other groups have long blamed currency manipulation and other government practices for artificially enabling cheaper Chinese products at the expense of American trade and jobs. The group pinned a total 3.2 million lost jobs on the U.S.-China trade deficit.

Moreover, a strong dollar made American goods more expensive in foreign markets in recent months, particularly as the Chinese economy showed signs of weakness. One analyst noted that the nation’s manufacturing trade deficit is expected to set a record this year.

Wages, however, are on the rise in China, which could encourage more domestic spending from U.S. companies.

"Walmart’s buying American not just for the sake of America," Harold Sirkin of Boston Consulting Group told The New York Times. "They’re buying American because of economics."

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