Walker Says Wisconsin's Growing Trade Deficit is "Great News" | WisCommunity

Walker Says Wisconsin's Growing Trade Deficit is "Great News"

Wisconsin was once the flagship manufacturing state of a United States that exported far more than it imported. Milwaukee, in fact, was once known as the because, you name it, it was made there.

Today, not so much: Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin's manufacturing is a shell of its former self. Wisconsin now actually imports more products from foreign countries than it exports. In 2014, Wisconsin and . That's an imbalance of two billion dollars in a state that that should be leading the nation in trade surplus.

Overall, non-manufactured commodities (mostly agriculture) do help out Wisconsin's trade balance, but this category of exports offer a fraction of the jobs that manufactured commodities bring to the table. And even if you look at Wisconsin's total trade balance (manufactured commodities plus non manufactured commodities), Wisconsin still imports more than it exports, bringing its total trade deficit to about 100 million.

In particular, Wisconsin has been . Not only is the rest of the world buying fewer things made in Wisconsin and more things made in China, but so is the United States and even Wisconsin. Wisconsin is now is buying fewer things made in Wisconsin and more things made in China. In fact, since Scott Walker was elected governor, Wisconsin's trade deficit with China has increased by about 10% to $4.4 billion.

So, I was pretty much knocked of my chair when Scott Walker recently went to London and bragged repeatedly about Wisconsin's foreign trade triumphs. He even sidestepped the now-famous evolution question by saying "I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin." And in a press release on the same day, he described Wisconsin's "evolution of trade" as "great news."

Truly "great news" on the "evolution of trade in Wisconsin" would be turning around a failed trade policy that has translated into a trade deficit that has cost Wisconsin hundreds of thousands of good jobs.

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Published

February 14, 2015 - 7:59am

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