USA trade deficit soars to record high

USA trade deficit soars to record high”

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday the USA posted a more than $891 billion merchandise trade deficit last year-the largest in the history of the country.

In December alone, the imbalance in trade, which represents the difference between the values of imported goods and services and the value of the country's sales overseas, jumped almost 19 percent to a seasonally adjusted $59.8 billion.

The government sought to stimulate the economy with a US$1.5 trillion tax cut package, which enhanced both consumer and business spending, helping to lift imported goods to a record US$2.6 trillion in 2018.

The trade deficit in goods between the US and China, specifically, reached a 10-year high of $419 billion.

December's trade imbalance worsened because United States imports rose 2.1%, while exports to other countries fell 1.9%.

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Trump has said he happens to be a tariff person because he's "a smart person", but seeing trade in the narrow and binary fashion of the administration isn't smart and hasn't been regarded as smart since the 1930s.

Whilst US exports grew by $148.9 billion last year, this was outstripped by the growth of imports which came in at $217.7 billion above the previous year's levels. No matter how many times Merkel points to German plants in the US producing cars and employing Americans, Trump doesn't get it. Economists argue that doing so is a sign of "goods fetishism", which is one fetish there's incontrovertible evidence - i.e., his many, many comments and tweets on the issue - Mr. Trump clearly does indulge in.

The Commerce Department said the December trade deficit of $59.8 billion was the largest since October 2008. Last year, Washington imposed tariffs on two-hundred fifty billion-dollar worth of Chinese goods.

President Donald Trump's attempt at reducing America's trade deficit with foreign countries seems to have done exactly the opposite.

The US has to print dollars to fund its deficits and, with the US dollar the global currency for foreign exchange transactions and the dominant currency for global central bank reserves, the rest of the world needs to exchange goods and services for US dollars.

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Trump has previously called the trade deficit "unsustainable" and said it represents a transfer of wealth from the United States to foreigners. United States trade with China is dominated by the deficit in manufactured products.

Douglas Irwin, an economics professor and trade historian at Dartmouth College, said a deal with China that includes promises of big purchases of American goods could help lower the trade deficit in the short-run. Rather, Trump's main "culpability" in trade is that his cuts in taxes and regulations have the USA economy outperforming most of the rest of the world. "The truth is, he's made only selective interventions but nothing that would tip the scales on the trade deficit". The trade deficit in non-petroleum products reached $825.4 billion in 2018, an increase of $91 billion (12.4 percent).

"The costs of the trade war are quite large relative to optimistic estimates of any gains that are likely to be achieved", wrote the trio of economists.

Trump's supporters insist he's tackling that via his trade negotiations with China and other USA trading partners.

"It's more substituting, a reshuffling of trade", Irwin said. Their research also revealed that workers in many Republican-leaning counties suffered the most economically from Trump's trade disputes.

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