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Dueling economists analyze new report saying over half a million jobs in CA have been lost to China




Employees work on automobile parts at a production line at the BMW factory in Shenyang, China on Nov. 22.
Employees work on automobile parts at a production line at the BMW factory in Shenyang, China on Nov. 22.
/AFP/Getty Images

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The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a report Tuesday that says that 3.4 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. were lost to China since 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization.

The report, called “The China Toll Deepens,” says California has lost more jobs to China than any other state. Some 562,500 jobs were displaced in the Golden State, according to the EPI report.

The study attributes this loss to Silicon Valley outsourcing tech jobs and a weakening apparel industry in Southern California. But some skeptics say these numbers are overstated. Critics argue that the study is based on the assumption that products imported from China would have been made in the U.S. But in reality, what these Chinese import merely replaces goods the U.S. would have imported from other countries -- like Japan or Korea.

Guests:

Robert Scott, senior economist and lead author of the U.S. jobs report; director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. that analyzes the economic impact of policies on workers

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, a California-based independent research and consulting firm; his focus includes economic forecasting, employment and labor markets