The world’s largest retailer is at the center of a new controversy, this time involving a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
According to the EPI, by importing products from China between 2001 and 2013, Wal-Mart either eliminated or displaced an estimated 400,000 jobs in the United States. Most of these jobs were in the manufacturing industry, with Wal-Mart’s cut representing 13% of the total 3.2 million jobs that were displaced during this period. The report found that Walmart’s Chinese imports were valued at $49 billion, based on data from trade and labor. The United States experienced a trade $324 billion trade deficit with its Chinese partners from between 2001 and 2013.
As noted by economist Robert E. Scott, Wal-Mart is a “major force” that’s importing products into the U.S.
“Walmart is one of the major forces pulling imports into the United States,” said Robert E. Scott, an economist at the institute and the study’s author. “And the jobs we’re losing are good-paying manufacturing jobs, which pay higher wages and provide better benefits.”
When companies seek cheap labor overseas, it ends up costing the country both jobs and money, such as the case involving Wal-Mart. If the retailing giant were to have opened a new manufacturing facility here in the U.S. instead of importing products, it would have created thousands upon thousands of new jobs. And when new jobs are created, it stimulates the economy. This latest study reveals the wide-reaching ramification of what happens when companies choose to import their products from overseas instead of manufacturing them in the U.S.
It’s important to note, however, that Wal-Mart has disputed the EPI’s study. “We are very proud of our U.S. manufacturing initiative, and the results speak for themselves. By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves while bringing new jobs to local communities in Ohio, Tennessee, California and many others,” said Wal-Mart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez.
In any case, let’s hope that more companies choose to manufacture their products here in the U.S. instead of importing them from overseas. Doing so is a great way to create new jobs while stimulating the economy in the process.No tags for this post.