USA trade deficit jumps to 10-year high in 2018

Chinese container ship

Chinese container ship

America's trade deficit with the world jumped 12.5 per cent to $621 billion, the Commerce Department reported, as both imports and exports rose to the highest levels ever.

"But now, when you're getting close to a victory, to relent at the eleventh hour, without achieving meaningful, enforceable, and verifiable structural reform to China's trade policies would be an abject failure of the president's China policies and people will shrug their shoulders and say what the heck did he begin this for if he won't complete it", Schumer said.

President Donald Trump has made cutting the gap between the two countries a top priority of his administration. Consumer goods imports jumped 2.4 billion USA dollars, boosted by a 0.7 billion US dollars increase in imports of household and kitchen appliances.

The deficit, which is the difference between the goods and services the USA buys from other countries and those it sells to them, rose to a seasonally adjusted $59.8 billion in December - an increase of nearly 19 percent. That in turn leads to a stronger dollar, which in itself helps increase the trade deficit by lowering the real cost of imports and increasing the local-currency cost of American goods in overseas markets.

But the trade gap on goods surged to record highs past year with China ($419.2bn), Mexico ($81.5bn) and the European Union ($169.3bn). President Donald Trump has said that one of the main reasons he had put steep tariffs in place was to combat the trade deficit.

The Fed said slowing global growth and the government shutdown weighed on the U.S. economy at the start of the year but that it continued to grow. That imbalance fell in the aftermath of that year's financial crisis as the United States and other nations plunged into severe recessions.

Many economists have pushed back against Trump and his understanding of what a trade deficit means.

Eric Weddle cut by Ravens in salary cap-clearing move
A leader in the locker room and on the field, Weddle made 68 tackles last season but did not have an interception. The 34-year-old Weddle started all 16 games in each of his three seasons with Baltimore.

President Trump's America First policies are not having their intended effect.

'That will take time and if the Chinese growth is as soft as most economists believe, it is hard to see how they can ramp up demand for US products very much this year, ' said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is in Washington this week and due to meet later Wednesday with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they prepare for formal negotiations. Capital goods imports increased 2.7 billion USA dollars, with imports of computer accessories rising 0.7 billion US dollars.

Weinstein said the President appears to be relying on a 2018 analysis of data from the 1990s, when the United States represented a larger share of the global economy and enjoyed more leverage over exporters in other countries.

A second study by four economists from the University of California, Los Angeles; Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley; and Columbia University reached the same conclusion. The retaliatory tariffs Trump provoked from China also hit major U.S. agricultural exports such as soybeans: shipments of that item fell US$4 billion previous year.

Nor have the tariffs provided the negotiating leverage that Trump sought.

Globally, the trade deficit jumped from $796 billion to $870 billion between 2017 and 2018, an increase of $74 billion.

Recommended News

  • Fortnite Patch v8.01 Adds Treasure Maps and Removes Bottle Rockets

    Fortnite Patch v8.01 Adds Treasure Maps and Removes Bottle Rockets

    Once you're close to the location you'll see a golden shaft of light marking exactly where you need to dig with your pickaxe. As the name implies, the Fortnite Buried Treasure map item is a map that leads you to awesome loot.
    NVIDIA Announces GeForce 419.35 WHQL Driver, RTX Triple Threat Bundle

    NVIDIA Announces GeForce 419.35 WHQL Driver, RTX Triple Threat Bundle

    It's not the full G-Sync experience, but it's good enough that Nvidia have deemed it worthy of a proper stamp of approval. Those are the Acer ED273 A, Acer XF250Q and BenQ XL2540-B / ZOWIE XL LCD (for a total of 15 compatible displays now).

    Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou Appears in Canadian Court

    Meng will remain on bail, subject to her existing conditions while court proceedings are underway. Chinese officials detained Canadians Kovrig and Spavor shortly after Meng's arrest.
  • Changes to Manitoba's health-care system to be passed into law

    Changes to Manitoba's health-care system to be passed into law

    The operations will be transferred to Shared Health over the next two years to run as an addictions and mental health program. Provincial experts say this will help better plan things like how many knee surgeries will be needed across the province.
    Samsung Names First European Countries To Get The Galaxy S10 5G

    Samsung Names First European Countries To Get The Galaxy S10 5G

    In this guide we'll take you through the best reasons to pre-order a Galaxy S10 and the best reasons to put your wallet away. You can read the complete specifications for both phones by seeing our hands-on with the Galaxy S10 Plus and the Galaxy S10.
    Koenigsegg Jesko breaks cover with 300mph objective

    Koenigsegg Jesko breaks cover with 300mph objective

    Prices are expected to start from $3 million before taxes but then again, you wouldn't expect it to be cheap, would you? Picking up where the Agera RS left off, the new Jesko aims to keep Koenigsegg at the top of the hypercar pecking order.
  • Is Zac Efron Dating an Olympian?

    Is Zac Efron Dating an Olympian?

    Just days before the fight, the two enjoyed a night out at the Los Angeles Kings vs. Dallas Stars game at Staples Center.
    NASA astronauts to team up for first all-female spacewalk

    NASA astronauts to team up for first all-female spacewalk

    Both astronauts were part of NASA's 2013 astronaut class and these expeditions to space are their first. This is going to be the first time in space for McClain and the first spaceflight for Koch.
    Bruins' Johansson sidelined with lung contusion

    Bruins' Johansson sidelined with lung contusion

    Now four games into his career with the Boston Bruins following his trade from New Jersey , another injury has hit Johansson. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries.
  • Kate Middleton Takes Center Stage, Meghan Markle ‘Put In The Corner’

    Kate Middleton Takes Center Stage, Meghan Markle ‘Put In The Corner’

    Watch the sweet video below! In their recent sighting, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles were photographed leading the group. Prince William , Middleton, Prince Harry and Markle were last seen together during the royals' annual Christmas morning service.
    New Mortal Kombat 11 Trailer Reveals Cassie Cage and Her Brutal Moves

    New Mortal Kombat 11 Trailer Reveals Cassie Cage and Her Brutal Moves

    The trailer also gives us a look at Johnny Cage interacting with his younger, time-displaced self, and he's not impressed. Erron Black , Cassie Cage , and Jacqui Briggs will all be playable in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 .
    Apple will fix  iPhones with third-party batteries

    Apple will fix iPhones with third-party batteries

    It was previously the case that Apple would turn folks away if they had iPhones that contained non-official parts. It did not matter if the requested service involved the battery or another component of the handset.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.