Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Rapid Decline In World Trade, Protectionists & Job Creation

Protectionists frequently blame job losses on global trade. If it weren't for those damn foreigners selling us such good and cheap products, everyone would have a good job.

Well, now it appears that protectionists are getting their wish. Regardless of what country you look at, trade reports show dramatic declines in world trade. In some countries exports decrease more than imports, in others imports decrease more than exports, but in all countries both exports and imports are falling rapidly.

Today's U.S. trade report is a case in point. It showed a much greater than expected decline in the trade deficit, from $56.7 billion to $40.4 billion. This dramatic decline did not however reflect an increase in exports. Exports fell in fact 5.9%, from $151.5 billion to $142.8 billion. The reason for the decline in the deficit was then a 12% decline in imports, from $208.2 billion to $183.2 billion.

Exports in November 2008 at its lowest level since September 2007, while imports were at its lowest level since April 2006. Since its July 2008 peaks, exports have fallen 15.2%, from $168.4 billion to $142.8 billion, while imports have fallen 20.2%, from $229.5 billion to $183.2 billion.

Now that those pesky foreigners have dramatically reduced their shipments to America, that must mean that good American jobs are quickly returning, right? Just like you know that dramatic decline in world trade during the 1930s was associated with a lot of new jobs. Or maybe not.....


Blogger Mark said...

You need to differentiate between oil and non-oil end use trades. Look at the development around July 2008. It is striking. It seems all to be just a matter of oil prive in the first line.

1:04 AM  

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