© 2021 WYPR
Fall 2021 Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Immigration's Effect on U.S. Jobs - 9/19/16

When Ross Perot ran for the presidency in nineteen ninety two, he warned of a giant sucking sound that would be generated by the flow of American jobs to Mexico via free trade.  Questions about the benefits and costs of free trade have certainly been a focal point of the twenty sixteen election. 

A twenty fourteen study published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that imports from Mexico have displaced two hundred and three thousand jobs a year.  However, U.S. exports to Mexico have supported the creation of one hundred and eighty eight thousand jobs per annum. 

As pointed out by writer William Mauldin, this means that only about fifteen thousand jobs are lost annually each year because of trade with Mexico, a tiny fraction of U.S. employment.  While many economists point to America’s sixty one billion dollar annual trade deficit with Mexico as further indication of significant negative impact, the trade deficit with China is almost precisely six times larger. 

Moreover, many economists believe that the biggest trade related threat to jobs – the rapid rise of China – is now largely behind us.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.