Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stop the Chinese Surge China Subsidizes Its Auto Parts, Putting at Risk Pennsylvania Jobs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stop the Chinese Surge China Subsidizes Its Auto Parts, Putting at Risk Pennsylvania Jobs

Article excerpt

They still don't get it. Every four years, presidential candidates pledge allegiance to American manufacturing and profess a love for "Made in America." But when the going gets tough, no presidential candidate matches rhetoric with action.

In Pennsylvania, a state where manufacturing still provides good jobs, that's just unacceptable -- especially since we now know that more than 42,000 jobs in the state's auto parts sector are at risk due to China's cheating.

Pennsylvania is an important part of the motor vehicle industry supply chain. And because auto parts is such a key segment of the state's economy, Pennsylvania voters need to know some facts before they head to the polls.

The truth is, the auto sector is just getting back on its feet after a near-death experience. We now see auto assembly factories humming again.

But what many people don't realize is that 75 percent of the jobs in the automobile industry are in the auto parts sector. These are the factories large and small that produce aluminum wheels, brake pads and the thousands of other parts that go into making an automobile.

This sector is under attack from China. We've seen imports of Chinese auto parts surge by 25 percent in each of the past two years. We've seen our trade deficit in auto parts with China grow nearly 900 percent in just 10 years. Yet no other major auto- producing nation -- Germany, Japan, South Korea -- has such a trade imbalance. Thanks to strongly coordinated national manufacturing strategies, these countries are much less likely to outsource parts production; in fact, they export more to China than they import.

China is not penetrating our market the old-fashioned way, by out- competing us. Instead, Beijing has pumped $27 billion of subsidies into its auto parts sector, with an additional $10 billion planned. Through policies that have been documented in great detail by our own government and outside investigators, China also blocks our exports of autos and auto parts while favoring its own industry, in direct violation of the commitments it made to free markets when it joined the World Trade Organization. …

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