Record US deficit in traded goods

Record US deficit in traded goods

Record US deficit in traded goods

This led to USA exports of soybeans to drop off by 97 percent during the first seven weeks of the 2018-19 marketing year, compared to what they had been the year before.

Chances are the US may push to retain some tariffs to force China to stick to concessions.

The skyrocketing U.S. trade deficit hit the highest level in a decade previous year despite President Donald Trump's global trade offensive, according to a government report Wednesday. He set out to fix a non-problem (a trade deficit) and created real ones including worldwide conflict, higher consumer prices and gross inefficiency in our economy when certain businesses have lobbying clout to get tariff exemptions and others do not. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The deficit with China, the major target of Trump's trade war measures, reached a new record, as did the deficit with Mexico. Those lower costs have indeed contributed to the loss of USA factories to foreign countries and devastated vast swaths of the industrial Midwest.

For all the tariff wars and fights with allies, Trump didn't accomplish his own goal, but he did inflict pain on farmers (who now require billions in taxpayer subsidies) and increase costs for American consumers, which includes US -based businesses that rely on foreign suppliers.

Trump persists with the import levies even as some supporters push for him to also act on other forces fuelling the trade deficit, including a robust dollar. In September, it imposed a 10 percent tax on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. The trade war with China has been a dark cloud that has damped investment.

Between 2017 and 2018, US exports to China dropped by more than $9 billion, while its imports from China rose by more than $34 billion. It's just that imports increased too and with these standing at $217.7 billion, the gap is particularly high. This shortfall also exceeded economists' estimates for a $57.9 billion shortfall. Nominal goods exports to China tanked by 33% year-over-year in December, likely as a result of China's retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Both figures are relatively modest, given that the US economy produces $20 trillion of goods and services a year. But there are also secondary effects.

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Businesses likely stocked up on imports in anticipation of further duties on Chinese goods, which ironically contributed to the deterioration in the trade deficit a year ago.

Trump wants to use the threat of auto tariffs as leverage to force the European Union to open up its agricultural product markets, which is nearly inconceivable.

The record $891 billion deficit shattered the previous high of $838.3 in 2006, a time when the USA housing market was near its peak.

The Commerce Department figures released Wednesday undermined a key commitment by U.S. President Donald Trump, who promised to cut the trade imbalance on the belief that it would bring back overseas factory jobs and bolster the broader U.S. economy.

China's ceremonial legislature was poised this week to back a law that would discourage officials in the country from pressuring US companies to hand over technology.

Our friends at NewsMax turned us on to the Gallup Organization's recent, and very extensive, polling on President Trump's handling of 14 domestic and foreign issues.

But it's unclear whether China would actually enforce this commitment - a concern that could potentially prevent a meaningful trade agreement.

Wall Street stocks finished as they started on Wednesday - in the red - as investors continued to keep an eye on any trade developments between the United States and China. Computer imports also increased $0.7 billion in December.

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