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State’s trade-related job losses on the rise

Washington is among the hardest hit states for trade-related job losses in recent years


The following is from the Washington Fair Trade Coalition:

SEATTLE (Aug. 10, 2020) — Washington’s trade-related job loss has increased over the last three years, according to a new analysis of U.S. Labor Department data conducted by the Washington Fair Trade Coalition Education Fund (WFTCEF). As such, Washington ranks among the hardest hit states in the country.

“The numbers don’t lie. Things aren’t getting better,” said WFTCEF’s Hillary Haden.  “Washington is hemorrhaging more and more jobs to offshoring week after week, with devastating effects on the state’s working families, our communities and our economy.”

Trade policy experts from WFTCEF compiled and reviewed data from the federal government’s Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which provides extended unemployment benefits to a subset of workers that the Department of Labor certifies as having lost their jobs either due to direct offshoring or displacement by imports.  The government data reveal:

●  Trade-related job loss is on the rise in Washington Washington experienced a 133% increase in trade-related job losses over the last three years in comparison to the three years before that, with 10,323 job losses certified for TAA on petitions filed between 2017 and 2019 compared to 7,780 between 2014 and 2016. The state likewise suffered an uptick in trade-related job losses in 2019 over the year before.

●  Washington is among the hardest hit states in the country Despite only being the thirteenth largest state by population, Washington experienced the ninth highest overall trade-related job loss numbers in the country from 2017–2019. When measured by population, Washington experienced the fifth highest trade-related job loss over that period. These rankings are worse than Washington’s historically predictable position as the state with the 13th most TAA certifications in the country from 1994–2019.

●  All corners of the state have been affected —  Cities and towns with more than 100 TAA certifications over the last three years include: Arlington (436 certified job losses); Auburn (126 certified job losses); Bellingham (253 certified job losses); Camas (845 certified job losses); Everett (188 certified job losses); Kirkland (118 certified job losses); Longview (147 certified job losses); Metaline Falls (299 certified job losses); Moses Lake (175 certified job losses); Port Angeles (118 certified job losses); Redmond (176 certified job losses); Renton (160 certified job losses); Republic (165 certified job losses); Seattle (281 certified job losses); Spokane (310 certified job losses); Sumner (250 certified job losses); Sunnyside (300 certified job losses); Tukwila (5,275 certified job losses); and Vancouver (650 certified job losses).

Additional data from the U.S. Census Bureau also shows that the U.S. trade deficit in goods has been on the rise over the last three years, reaching over $852 billion in 2019. While Washington itself is one of the rare states in the country with a trade surplus in goods, it experienced a roughly 56% drop in its cumulative surplus in 2017, 2018 and 2019 compared to that of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“Outsourced jobs have consequences for Washington communities — less income, cut-off benefits, and instability for the families directly affected — but the wider community is also often hurt,” said Larry Brown, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.  “When thousands of Washington’s jobs are shipped overseas there is less tax revenue to invest in education, workforce training, and infrastructure. These investments are vital for our state to compete for good jobs in the future. Offshoring our state’s jobs also reduces revenue for other vital public services and for health care. There’s less money remaining for people to spend at local businesses, and there’s also a very real downward pressure on the wages and benefits of the jobs that are left.”

“The last three years of trade policies that were supposed to put ‘America First’ actually continued putting corporations first. If we’re going to stop bleeding jobs in Washington, the administration needs to stop advancing bad policies that actively encouraging outsourcing — like the 2017 tax bill that gave a better tax rate to companies that offshore production or January’s China trade deal that created new safeguards for companies that move jobs overseas,” said Greg Pallesen, President of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers.

“If we want corporations to stop sending our jobs around the globe to wherever workers are most exploited and regulations are the weakest, we need to negotiate trade deals that require enforcement of labor and environmental provisions, and raise wages and living standards,” said Jackie Boschok, a retired Machinist from IAM 751.

The TAA data used for this analysis is particularly reliable as it provides a hard count of actual jobs lost at actual worksites, rather than relying on the economic modeling found in most government, academic and industry group reports about job effects of U.S. trade policy. That said, the TAA certification numbers included here fall far short of the true number of jobs in Washington lost due to trade — both because the TAA program has never covered all categories of work adversely affected by trade and because worksites where no one actively applies for TAA are not captured in the dataset.

A full copy of the WFTCEF analysis is online here.


Recent TAA Certifications in Washington

Grays Harbor Community Hospital Aberdeen 26-Feb-18 27
McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc. Arlington 15-Feb-17 22
Senior Aerospace AMT Arlington 6-Mar-20 414
Zones, Inc. Auburn 21-Feb-18 120
Loud Audio, LLC Auburn 16-Oct-18 6
Valente Global Bellevue 18-Dec-18 10
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. Bellevue 16-Feb-17 32
Healthcare Management Administrators, Inc. Bellevue 18-Sep-18 15
Lumedx Inc. Bellevue 7-May-19 22
Smartfocus US Inc. Bellevue 12-Jun-19 6
Zodiac Aerospace Bellingham 3-Jul-17 253
Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations LLC Camas 8-Mar-18 419
Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc. Camas 6-Apr-17 143
Sharp Electronics Corporation Camas 17-Aug-17 60
Karcher North America Camas 20-Aug-19 223
Hearth and Home Technologies Colville 28-Sep-17 85
Jamco America, Inc. Everett 19-Apr-17 163
M.Torres America, Inc. Everett 5-Dec-17 25
E. Roko Distributions, Inc. Kent 4-Oct-19 23
Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC Kirkland 22-Mar-19 118
Itron Inc. Liberty Lake 16-Apr-18 12
North Pacific Paper Company, LLC Longview 2-Oct-17 147
Boyd Coffee Company Lynnwood 27-Oct-17 5
Honeywell International Inc. Lynnwood 3-Jul-18 15
Teck Washington Incorporated Metaline Falls 29-May-19 299
Joyson Safety Systems Moses Lake 2-May-18 61
REC Solar Grade Silicon LLC Moses Lake 7-Sep-18 114
Stampede Forest Products, Inc. Omak 8-Mar-17 35
Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. Ltd Port Angeles 9-Mar-17 118
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc. Redmond 14-Nov-19 176
Providence Health & Services-Washington Renton 18-Jul-19 141
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Renton 4-Feb-20 19
Echo Bay Minerals Company Republic 24-Oct-17 97
Alaska Aggregate and Aspect Consulting Republic 24-Oct-17 10
Echo Bay Minerals Company Republic 19-Nov-19 45
HR Advantages LLC, Republic Security Republic 19-Nov-19 13
McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc. Rochester 15-Feb-17 23
GM Nameplate, Inc. Seattle 13-Sep-17 22
The Seattle Times Seattle 16-Feb-17 3
International Business Machines (IBM) Seattle 25-Sep-17 9
Avanade Inc. Seattle 13-Dec-17 3
CellNetix Seattle 12-Feb-18 65
Aviation Partners Boeing Inc. Seattle 26-Mar-18 31
Star Forge LLC Seattle 10-May-18 110
Filson Manufacturing Seattle 6-Aug-19 39
McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc. Shelton 15-Feb-17 8
Boyd Coffee Company Spokane 27-Oct-17 3
Triumph Composite Systems, Inc. Spokane 23-Jan-17 138
Lincare Inc. Spokane 13-Sep-17 6
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Spokane 11-Apr-18 9 Group, Inc. Spokane 8-May-19 79
Triumph Composites Systems, Inc. Spokane 5-Sep-19 75
Ciena Corporation Spokane Valley 10-Sep-18 28
Kellogg Sales Company Sumner 5-Dec-17 250
Seneca Foods LLC Sunnyside 9-Aug-19 300
TrueBlue, Inc. and StaffManagement, Inc. Tacoma 6-Nov-17 46
KeyBank NA Tacoma 11-Jul-18 1
The Boeing Company Tukwila 19-May-17 5,275
Columbia River Logistics Vancouver 17-May-18 467
Windstream Services, LLC Vancouver 4-Oct-17 31
Sunlight Supply Inc. Vancouver 6-Dec-17 47
Sigma Design, Inc. Vancouver 4-Feb-19 50
HP Inc. Vancouver 27-Jun-19 52
Workers of Insight Global, Inc.,
Accion Labs Inc., Adea Solutions, etc.
Vancouver 27-Jun-19 3
Loud Audio, LLC Woodinville 16-Oct-18 93

Source: “Petitions and Determination Data,” U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance (OTAA).

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