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U.S.-initiated trade disputes cast shadow over job market in California

(Xinhua)    14:17, June 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-initiated trade disputes with China had an effect on California and could hit the Golden State further if it dragged on to next year, according to the latest economic forecast from Chapman University released Wednesday.

The country's economy will be impacted negatively and California, the gateway for trans-Pacific trade, will be hit even harder, the Midyear Updates to the 2019 Economic and Business Review issued by the university's A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research showed.

"Lack of a new trade agreement will have a strong negative impact on the critical transportation and warehousing sector, resulting in an estimated loss of 43,000 jobs in California by the end of 2019, with further decline expected into 2020 and beyond," Chapman's research predicted.

The United States in May raised additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, and threatened to levy extra duties on more Chinese products.

"Our model points to a 40 billion U.S. dollars decrease in real GDP as a result of the trade war. That would represent a drop of around 0.2 percent in real GDP in 2019," James Doti, president emeritus of Chapman University, said in a press release emailed to Xinhua. "If the trade war is not resolved, the impact will roughly double that in 2020. The tariffs will also increase inflation, but, at this point, it's unclear how much."

Over its 41-year history, the Chapman University Economic and Business Review has been recognized for its accuracy, correctly predicting economic outcomes consistently.

Chapman's economists maintained their forecast for 2.4 percent expansion in the U.S. economy this year, down from 2.9 percent in 2018, which is still enough to chalk up the longest expansion in U.S. history, but the California economy, which traditionally outpaces national trends, will instead face a steeper decline that brings it on par with the rest of the nation.

"This is due to trade tension with China and declining job growth in construction, transportation and warehousing, and technology," said Doti, who is also lead economist on the study. "A trade war impacts the California economy more profoundly than the rest of the nation as the majority of goods, approximately 90 percent, pass through the state's airports and harbors."

"Imports from China fell at double digit rates in the first quarter of 2019, a trend likely to continue," the research revealed.

"The job losses will mount next year as lower exports and imports cut into a wide swath of job sectors like transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade, financial activities and professional and business activities," Doti added.

He also noted that so far it's not possible to accurately model what will happen beyond 2019 since there are too many uncertainties.

"What we can do is continuing to monitor certain trends that in the past have indicated the possibility of a recession -- slowed growth, job losses and disruptions in the supply chain," he said.

The 158-year-old Chapman University, located 50 km southeast of Los Angeles downtown, is a famous private university in Southern California.

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