U.S. trade deficit with China rises in April to $21.6 billion
The monthly U.S. trade figures were released this morning. The overall trade deficit was $43.7 billion in April, a drop of 6.7 percent from March, and the lowest level since December 2010. A 25.5 percent drop in imports from Japan related to the earthquake was responsible for much of that change.
Said Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):
"The rise in our trade deficit with China in April is yet another reminder of just how far we have to go to level the playing field for American workers and businesses. Externally, the only thing holding back a boom in American manufacturing is China’s persistent mercantilism, including its currency manipulation and industrial subsidies. China makes promises to reform, but the data tells the real truth: China’s cheating continues to destroy good American jobs.
Yesterday, the President announced his support for a plan to train 500,000 new workers for manufacturing careers, and he deserves praise for that. But unless this Administration steps up pressure on China to play by the rules and lower the trade deficit, training new workers will not be a sufficient step to revitalize manufacturing in our nation. If Germany can balance its trade account with China, so can we. Guaranteeing a level playing field for American workers and businesses should be high on the agenda of this Congress and Administration. First, Congress should pass bipartisan legislation to deter China from manipulating its currency—legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last year. Second, the Administration should lay out objective criteria with China to lower the enormous trade deficit, which grew to $21.6 billion in April. Third, Congress needs to develop a comprehensive strategy to boost manufacturing, focusing on skills, infrastructure, innovation, strict enforcement of trade laws, and tax policy."
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