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Dayton Business Journal...
Report: Chinese trade practices risk 200k Ohio jobs

by Joe Cogliano, Senior Reporter
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 

A trio of new reports release Tuesday claim that 1.6 million jobs in the U.S. auto supply chain — including nearly 200,000 in Ohio — are at risk because of illegal trading practices by China. 

Officials from the Economic Policy Institute, which authored two of the reports, said U.S. automakers have enjoyed a strong turnaround since the government aided the restructuring of General Motors    and Chrysler, with U.S.-based automakers’ sales up 29.1 percent since 2009. Ford Motor Co.    recently posted a $13.6 billion quarterly profit as well. However, employment in the autoparts and tire industry has rebounded at less than half that rate. 

“The auto industry is helping turn our economy around by reviving manufacturing facilities across the nation. But we’re at risk of this progress being undercut if we allow China to continue cheating trade laws,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. “Without an aggressive approach to addressing the Chinese subsidies outlined in this new report, this unlevel playing field could jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs. We must be aggressive on trade enforcement — especially as China ramps up subsidies in strategic industries, like auto parts.” 

Brown — who has been a vocal critic of China’s trading practices — joined several other Senators as well as labor leaders and economists for the release of the reports on Tuesday, which includes: 

• Growing Threats to the U.S. Auto-Parts Industry from Heavily Subsidized Chinese Tires and Parts, by the Economic Policy Institute, shows 75 percent of jobs in the U.S. auto industry are in the auto-parts sector, with direct and indirect auto parts jobs in virtually every state. It concludes that every is individually at-risk from this unfair trade competition. 

• Putting the Pedal to the Metal: Subsidies to China’s Auto-Parts Industry from 2001 to 2011, by the Economic Policy Institute, cites $27.5 billion in government subsidies to the Chinese auto-parts industry and says that China’s central government has committed to an additional $10.9 billion in subsidies for industrial restructuring and technological development of the industry. 

• China’s Support Program for Automobiles and Auto Parts Under the 12th Five Year Plan, Stewart & Stewart, claims evidence that massive government subsidies being given to Chinese producers, in violation of China’s WTO commitments, will continue for years to come unless challenged. The Chinese government will invest $1.5 trillion in seven industries over the next five years to enable them to grow at an annual rate of 35 percent over the period; specific auto parts targeted in the plan include batteries, electric motors, electronic control systems, and fuel cells, according to the study. 

The Dayton-area economy still reaps large benefits from automakers because of the large number of auto suppliers still here. GM has 400 employees in Dayton at its DMAX engine plant that is a joint venture with Isuzu Motors, while the region also is home to Honda Motor Co, which has several thousand workers at an engine plant in Shelby County and thousands more at assembly plants nearby. 

The supply chain jobs in the manufacturing sector locally also includes 500 workers at a new Caterpiller facility in Clayton 

Read this and other articles at the Dayton Business Journal

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