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Economic Policy Institute Releases Study on Wal-Mart's Relationship With China


China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) was supposed to improve the U.S. trade deficit with China and create good jobs in the United States. But those promises have gone unfulfilled: the total U.S. trade deficit with China reached $235 billion in 2006. Between 2001 and 2006, this growing deficit eliminated 1.8 million U.S. jobs (Scott 2007). The world's biggest retailer, U.S.-based Wal-Mart was responsible for $27 billion in U.S. imports from China in 2006 and 11% of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006. Wal-Mart's trade deficit with China alone eliminated nearly 200,000 U.S. jobs in this period.

Last year, the retail giant Wal-Mart imported $26.7 billion of Chinese goods into the United States. The cost of those goods to Americans went far beyond the sticker prices, however. Wal-Mart's reliance on Chinese goods cost the United States over 308,000 jobs in 2006 ”“ or about 77 jobs for every Wal-Mart store in the United States.


Wal-Mart's demands forced 14 suppliers ”” including Hasbro, Fruit of the Loom, and Procter & Gamble ”” to cut approximately 17,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs between 2001 and 2006.1 Thousands of these jobs were shipped to China.

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