China Trade Violations Put American Jobs at Risk

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WASHINGTON - According to three new reports released Tuesday, 1.6 million American jobs are at risk due to trade violations committed by China.

Now, lawmakers and union leaders are calling on President Barack Obama to take action against the communist economic powerhouse.

The president received bipartisan applause when he announced the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit during his State of the Union Address to Congress on Jan. 24.

"It's not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they're heavily subsidized," Obama said. "Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you - America will always win."

Hundreds of thousands of jobs in several states from Michigan to Tennessee are at risk because of Chinese trade violations.

"If we don't get ahead of this curve, this is the way it's going to go," said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich.

Over the past decade, America has imported $62 billion worth of auto parts, causing the auto parts trade deficit between the U.S. and China to increase 850 percent, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Congressional Democrats and union leaders are pressuring President Obama to make good on his promise. They want the administration to take legal action against China for violating trade agreements.

"We see state after state passing anti-bullying laws. That's what we need to do here - is to stand up to the bully on the block. The bully on the block continues to take our lunch money and it's time to stop that," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

"All we're talking about is standing up for America," she added.

Frustrations may come to a head when Xi Jinping, the man expected to become China's next president, visits the White House on Valentine's Day.

"We've seen China target these industries because at the end of the day China is less concerned about playing by the rules then it is about providing employment for hundreds of millions of Chinese people," said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

It's a situation that has political implications for the president. Several states with large numbers of manufacturing jobs are swing states.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.