Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to create 4.7M jobs with a stroke of the pen (Ohioans, take note)

There's a way to bring back a good chunk of the 7,277,400  jobs that have gone overseas, and it could probably be done tomorrow with the stroke of a pen.

Those jobs disappeared because of the gargantuan U.S. trade deficit -- $559.8 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Cracking down on currency manipulation by China and other countries would restore as many as 4.7 million U.S. jobs, according to a new study by our friends at the Economic Policy Institute.

And as many as 199,700 of those jobs would probably be in Ohio. That's because of the Buckeye State's manufacturing preeminence.

EPI economist Rob Scott explains:
Because currency manipulation is the largest single cause of U.S. trade deficits, halting global currency manipulation by making it illegal for China and other currency manipulators to purchase U.S. Treasury bills and other government assets is the best way to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, create jobs and rebuild the economy.
Scott co-authored a study that found
...enacting policies to end currency manipulation would help revive the manufacturing sector in the U.S., creating between 2.2 million and 4.7 million U.S. jobs and between 94,900 to 199,700 jobs in Ohio, one of the nation’s preeminent manufacturing states.
He points out that the president can eliminate currency manipulation "with the stroke of a pen." Here's how:
The president could simply declare that the United States will no longer sell Treasury bills and other government assets to China and other countries that refuse to allow the United States to purchase their government assets (currency manipulators generally refuse to sell their government assets to the United States, effectively closing their capital markets). The United States and other countries may legally refuse to sell government assets to currency manipulators because the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund do not require the United States to maintain free markets in capital flows, only in goods and services. ... Refusing to sell assets to currency manipulators would eliminate the principal tool used by foreign central banks to manipulate their currencies: purchases of Treasury bills and other government securities (U.S. government securities constitute approximately 70 percent of all such foreign exchange reserves).
There's another benefit to ending currency manipulation: It would shrink the deficit by as much as $165.8 billion.