Shipping containers are being loaded onto Xin Da Yang Zhou ship from Shanghai, China at Pier J at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit increased to a near 9-1/2-year high in February, with both exports and imports rising to record highs, but the shortfall with China narrowed sharply.
News - Trade - Deficit - United - States
News of the worsening trade deficit comes as the United States and China are embroiled in ****-for-tat tariffs which have rattled global financial markets. It also underscores the challenges confronting President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies aimed at eradicating the deficit.
The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade gap rose 1.6 percent to $57.6 billion, the highest level since October 2008. The deficit has now risen for six straight months. The goods trade deficit was the highest since July 2008 and the surplus on services was the lowest since December 2012.
Economists - Reuters - Trade - Gap - February
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $56.8 billion in February. Part of the rise in the trade deficit in February reflected commodity price increases.
The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China fell 18.6 percent to $29.3 billion. The deficit with Mexico surged 46.6 percent in February.
Trump - United - States - Advantage - Trading
Trump, who claims the United States is being taken advantage of by its trading partners, has already imposed broad tariffs on imported solar panels and large washing machines. He has also slapped 25 percent import duties on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
While these actions may prove politically popular with Trump’s working class political base, especially in states hard-hit by factory closures and import competition, analysts warn they could undercut economic growth and raise prices for both consumers and producers.
Growth - Imports - Trump - Administration - Income
Strong economic growth, which is drawing in imports, and the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion income tax cut...
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