September 14, 2012
There is a common misperception that imports from overseas cost jobs here at home. However, recent Heritage Foundation research shows that the process of importing goods actually contributes to a large number of jobs, when taking into account long-term effects.
For example, jobs created in the process of transporting imported goods from point of entry to their final destination stimulate various fields such as wholesale, transportation, sales, and retail. Heritage experts Derek Scissors, Charlotte Espinoza and Terry Miller explain that “Over half a million American jobs are supported by imports of Chinese-made clothes and toys alone.”
A healthy economy relies on trade. When imports go up, unemployment goes down. This leads to more choices, and most importantly fosters competition that improves the quality of goods and services, further encouraging consumption.
With this in mind, policymakers should limit regulations on imports and create policies that encourage commerce between the United States and other countries. Furthermore, continued progress needs to be made to properly measure trade’s effects on employment because, as Heritage research has found, the root of trade misperceptions lies in the data:
The first flaw is with the trade data themselves. The way trade is almost always measured gives full credit to the country that sends the final shipment: The full value of a computer assembled in China counts as a Chinese export. Though typically, the only part of the computer trade process that occurs in China is the manual assembly of the parts. The value added to China’s economy is tiny, as are the workers’ salaries. Yet China gets credit for the entire process in the trade accounts, and its export figures are very high.
In a difficult economy, it is essential for politicians to understand the critical correlation between imports and job creation. To learn more about the positive impact of imports and to view this research, please click here.
Do you think politicians should focus their efforts on limiting barriers to commerce?