President Obama heads to Wisconsin today, a state that depends heavily on manufacturing
President’s Obama travels to Manitowoc, WI this afternoon. In Wisconsin, he'll no doubt encounter a lot of struggling paper mills (along with workers who've been laid off from those mills). This is a result of unfair competition from China's heavily subsidized paper industry.
An AAM report in 2009 found that the Chinese paper industry has massively boosted production via illegal subsidies over the past decade, costing tens of thousands of jobs throughout the U.S. paper industry and increasing the massive U.S. trade deficit with China.
Along with paper, manufacturing has traditionally been Wisconsin's strongest employment sector, above even farming. More recently, however, Wal-Mart has been Wisconsin's top employer.
While 436,500 Wisconsinites still work in manufacturing, that figure is down from 594,100 in 2000-- a 27% cut in manufacturing jobs. The state has lost 52,200 jobs to China since 2001, or 1.83% of overall employment.
Wisconsin is the most manufacturing-dependent state in the nation. President Obama deserves credit for his trade enforcement efforts so far, but his visit today will hopefully spur an even more immediate push to revitalize the nation's industrial base, including in hard-hit Wisconsin.
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