For 2018 as a whole, the deficit grew to $621 billion - the highest since 2008, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
If you add in the services sector, the USA trade deficit is still $621 billion, $100 billion more than under President Barack Obama. The recent widening in the deficit has been driven in part by weakening exports, according to Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan. -China trade relationship can work in Trump's favor: there are simply far more Chinese goods coming into the U.S.to hit with tariffs than there are American goods flowing into China that can be hit with retaliatory charges.
President Donald Trump is pressuring US trade negotiators to cut a deal with China soon in hope of fueling a market rally, as he grows increasingly concerned that the lack of an agreement could drag down stocks, according to people familiar with the matter.
The immediate drivers of the surge in the trade deficit under Trump have been the fiscal expansion resulting from the tax cuts he pushed through Congress and the stronger dollar that resulted, partly from the juiced economy that expansion helped create.
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The president has previously called the trade gap "unsustainable".
The data shows that Trump's America First policies to close the trade gap haven't had their desired effect. "We can turn it all around - and we can turn it around fast", he said.
While Trump often blames poor trade agreements for the trade deficit, that may not be the whole story.
Globally, the trade deficit jumped from $796 billion to $870 billion between 2017 and 2018, an increase of $74 billion.
December's trade imbalance worsened because U.S. imports rose 2.1%, while exports to other countries fell 1.9%. Economists see the fundamental issue, in the long run, is what happens internally: getting spending in line with saving as a nation. U.S. and Chinese officials have recently signalled that they are close to some kind of agreement, although China has only bolstered its commitment to investing in and developing its technology sector and questions about how to enforce any trade rules remain.
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"I found some very old laws from when our country was rich - really rich - the old tariff laws". After accounting for the impact of higher tariff revenue and the benefits of higher prices to domestic producers the study found the aggregate annual loss for the US economy fell to $6.4 billion, or 0.03 percent of GDP.
There are clear indicators that the Chinese economy is taking a hit from American tariffs.
Trump's tariffs also may cause U.S. companies to write off sizable investments in their Chinese factories as they scramble to shift operations to safer venues, said the study by Weinstein, Amiti and Redding.
US President Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed Tariff Man, is set to become the $100 Billion Man.
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