U.S. Trade Deficit Increases by $56,600 Million in January

The United States’ trade deficit expanded 5 % in January 2018 to a seasonally adjusted $56,600 million.  The deficit in October was the highest level of the past nine months.  It was wider than the projected numbers economists forecasted, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Higher prices of oil imports and the significant increase in Chinese, Mexican and European Union goods, combined with a decline in US exports of soybeans and civilian aircrafts all contribute to the current numbers.

In January, exports lowered 1.3% reaching $200,900 million, while imports stayed the same at $275,000 million.

The Commerce Department also upwardly revised the September deficit figure to $44.9 billion.

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US exports totaled $195.9 billion in October, around $100 million less than in September, while imports came in at $244.6 billion, up $3.8 billion from the previous month.

The biggest increase in petroleum imports in three years was offset by declines in cellphones, computer chips and other consumer-related goods. Those imports typically fall after the Christmas holiday-shopping season.

The U.S. trade deficit rose to $56.6 billion in January from $53.9 billion in December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.  Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $55.2 billion gap.

President Trump vowed to bring down the U.S. trade deficit in his first year in office.  Yet the trade gap has actually climbed to a nine-year high of $566 billion.

Trump’s “America First” motto is proving to not be as effective as he thought.

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Trade deficit with China surged 16.7 percent to $36.0 billion, the highest since September 2015.  The deficit with Canada was the highest in three years.

Trump is claiming that the United States is being taken advantage of by its trade partners.  Last week, he imposed import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in an effort to protect domestic producers.

Trump ordered a renegotiation of the trade pact as fears of a trade war spark that may lead to jeopardizing talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) linking Canada, Mexico and the United States.


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