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WASHINGTON, Feb 01 (APP/AFP) - A yawning trade deficit with China cost 3.4 million US jobs between 2001 and 2015, according to a report publishedTwhich coincided with abrupt White House efforts to retool trade policy. Mounting American reliance on Chinese imports and unfair Chinese trade practices have also helped hollow out the US manufacturing sector, which accounted for nearly three quarters of all the jobs lost due to the trade gap, said the report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The nonpartisan think tank's report jibed with President Donald Trump's blunt moves to upend prevailing policies on trade, which he has blamed for the export of American industrial jobs, chiefly to China and Mexico. Peter Navarro, a top Trump economic adviser, has long accused China of adopting trade policies that directly undermine the US economy. In helping launch the report, Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers union, told reporters that Trump, a Republican opposed to trade liberalization, had been victorious among traditionally pro-Democrat voters in industrialized areas of the United States. "And the reason for that shift is that they understand the economic anxiety that has been brought forward by this model of trade, whether it was Mexico, China, South Korea or any others that has resulted in their jobs' being insecure, their wages' being pushed down," [no-sidebar]

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