As a United States Senator and the chief architect of the Obama Administration’s Chinese foreign policy, former Vice President Joe Biden facilitated the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China – a move that disproportionately disadvantaged black working-class Americans.
The Democratic Presidential candidate made his first visit to China in April of 1979 as part of a US Congressional Delegation.
Reflecting on the trip at the opening session of the 2011 US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Biden said: “As a young member of a Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now: That a rising China is a positive development, not only for China, but for America and the world writ large.”
In reality, China’s economic rise – loaded with currency manipulation and routine intellectual property theft – was anything but a positive development for everyday Americans.
China’s WTO entry and the trade privileges it received despite continuing its exploitative economic practices dealt devastating blows to the American economy, domestic industry, and the working-class citizenry. Following China’s inclusion in the WTO – a move championed by Biden – the United States lost 3.2 million jobs to China from 2001 to 2013, and 2.4 million of those belonged to the manufacturing sector.
Courted by cheap Chinese labor and low production costs, US corporations and business executives like heads of the auto industry increasingly shipped their production overseas to China. As a result, China transformed into the world’s leading manufacturer, and once great industrial capitals across the United States experienced staggering unemployment, faltering infrastructure, and an increase in crime.
When 2015 protests and riots in response to the death of Freddie Grey broke out across Baltimore – one such former industrial heavyweight – John Angelos, COO of the Baltimore Orioles, tweeted: “My greater source of personal concern, outrage, and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working-class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to 3rd world dictatorships like China and others plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation.”
He’s right. For decades, the United States manufacturing sector drove the engine of the US economy and served as the foundation of the American middle-class.
Before Chinese-backed entities like Hunter Biden’s firm BHR Partners led automotive takeovers in places like Michigan, manufacturing and the auto industry specifically provided African-Americans an opportunity to earn much higher wages than in other parts of the economy.
When asked about vanishing factory and auto jobs, a three-decade employee at General Motors’ assembly plant in northern Michigan told the New York Times, “If it wasn’t for the factory, the average black would not have been able to survive all these years, especially without an education.”
For lower-income families, manufacturing jobs act as a great equalizer and provide a stepping stone into the middle class. As such, the absence of a reliable manufacturing sector often traps lower-income groups in dire circumstances.
According to analysis by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the industrial exodus of US manufacturers in cities across the country resulted in, proportionally, more black workers facing unemployment than white workers and more black workers staying unemployed for longer.
Historically, black Americans lag behind white Americans in the accumulation of household wealth, retirement savings, and homeownership – making a sudden loss of income and prolonged economic distress like the offshoring of factory jobs to China all the more distressing.
Unable to compete with state-subsidized sweatshops in China, working-class Americans and black Americans in particular have watched their wages plummet and their jobs shipped overseas.
The Economic Policy Institute reports that “the motor vehicle and parts industry, a sector of the economy that has been particularly welcoming to African-Americans, is becoming a shrinking island of prosperity.”
One thing’s clear: massive factory job loss and the industrial flight of US manufacturers to China at the direction of globalist elites like Joe Biden ravaged working-class American communities and black communities especially.
Thankfully, the Trump administration understands the importance of worker-friendly trade policies in creating jobs and strengthening U.S. manufacturing.
“For me and for this president, one of the key thrusts of any phase four — and any economic plan — going forward has to be manufacturing jobs, a focus on buy American, hire American, make it in the U.S.A.,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Maria Bartiromo in a Fox Business interview Friday evening. “What we need to do as a country is to make more stuff here.”