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21 Million U.S. Jobs Depend on Imports, New Study Shows

Business Groups Release Study Highlighting Trade Benefits



Washington D.C. – The National Foreign Trade Council today joined eight other business organizations to release “Imports Work for American Workers,” an economic impact study which found that imports support more than 21 million American jobs.

The study focuses on the net impact of imports on U.S. jobs — including statistics on sectors such as retail, apparel, transportation, manufacturing and consumer technology. The study also looks at how imports support jobs in states across the U.S. as well as trade policy initiatives pending before Congress and the administration with the potential to preserve or diminish import-related jobs.

“From providing necessary components for U.S. manufacturers to supporting countless well paying jobs and reducing the cost of goods and services for consumers -- imports are an essential part of the U.S. economy,” said Rufus Yerxa, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. “In order to build back better, we must remove unjustified and burdensome tariffs on imports from our closest allies to ensure our domestic industries remain competitive and grow their operations.”

Among the key findings:
  • Imports support more than 21 million American jobs across the country, including a net positive number in every U.S. state. The 10 states accounting for the largest number of import-related jobs are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
  • Imports from key trading partners — including Canada, China, the European Union and Mexico — support a net positive number of U.S. jobs.
  • Import-related jobs are good jobs that pay competitive wages. Nearly 8 million of the jobs related to importing are held by minorities and 2.5 million jobs are held by workers represented by unions.
  • The vast majority (96 percent) of companies who import are small or medium-sized businesses.
  • U.S. trade policies, many now pending before Congress and the administration, have the potential to both support and hurt these jobs.

The American Apparel and Footwear Association, the American Chemistry Council, the Consumer Technology Association, the National Foreign Trade Council, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Fashion Industry Association and the U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition commissioned the study, which was prepared by Laura M. Baughman and Dr. Joseph F. Francois of Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC.

The study is being released during “World Trade Week” as part of “World Trade Month” to highlight the essential role that imports play in the U.S. and global economy.

View the full report here.

About American Apparel and Footwear Association
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, we are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA provides exclusive expertise in trade, brand protection, and supply chain & manufacturing to help our members navigate the complex regulatory environment and lower costs. Members gain unparalleled access to information and exclusive insights on regulation and policy, and premier opportunities for networking and collaboration.

About the American Chemistry Council
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $565 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure. Learn more about ACC member company commitments to sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion here.

About Consumer Technology Association
As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the most influential tech event in the world. Find us at CTA.tech. Follow us @CTAtech.

About the NFTC
NFTC is dedicated to making America more successful in the global economy by ensuring the adoption of competitive tax and trade policies, strengthening the global rules-based trading system and opening foreign markets to U.S. products and services. The Council’s membership spans the breadth of the national economy. It includes sectors such as energy products, aerospace, capital goods, transportation, consumer goods, technology, healthcare products, services, e-commerce and retail. Our companies account for more than $3 trillion in total sales worldwide, employ over five million Americans and produce a huge share of our nation’s total exports. We and our members have significant interests in ensuring a healthy U.S. economy and promoting America’s global leadership.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. NRF.com

About RILA
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad. RILA.com

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Around the globe, the Chamber advocates for free enterprise, competitive markets, and rules-based trade and investment as the path to economic opportunity and prosperity for all. The Chamber’s federation includes thousands of state and local chambers of commerce in all 50 states, nearly 1,000 national and sectoral trade associations, and a global network of American Chambers of Commerce in more than 100 countries.

About the U.S. Fashion Industry Association
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow.

About U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition
The U.S. Global Value Chain (USGVC) Coalition is on a mission to educate policymakers and the public about the American jobs and the domestic economic growth our companies generate through their value chains. We advocate, educate, conduct research, and engage on policies that support American workers and their families through U.S. global value chains.


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About the NFTC Serving America's Global Businesses Since 1914 - The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves 100 member companies through its office in Washington D.C.