US trade deficit for goods reached record $891B in 2018

by Garry Watts March 8, 2019, 0:45
US trade deficit for goods reached record $891B in 2018

The Trump administration said Wednesday that the United States trade deficit in goods skyrocketed to $891.2 billion previous year, the highest deficit in the country's history.

The U.S. Commerce Department issued its final report Wednesday on the trade gap for 2018. The president clearly obsesses about the trade deficit, but would he really prefer that the USA economy not be humming along with both low inflation and also record low unemployment rates both overall and for just about every demographic group, even those demographic groups that solidly vote Democrat? The U.S. trade deficit, whose supposedly disgusting, disgraceful size Trump ran against in 2016, is now effectively his.

There are a few takeaways from this news, including that trade was probably a bigger drag on growth last year than previously forecast.

President Donald Trump is pursuing a protectionist trade agenda to shield US manufacturing from what he says is unfair foreign competition.

Trump has made the trade deficit a focus of his economic foreign policy and frequently mentions it when discussing worldwide trade.

The U.S. trade deficit ballooned in 2018 despite moves by the Trump administration over the past year to keep it down and renegotiate trade agreements. That happened despite the new barriers to trade raised by the Trump administration. Trump asked China to abolish tariffs on U.S. agricultural products earlier this month.

The president has previously called the trade gap "unsustainable". Beijing's longstanding policy of subsidizing its own businesses and charges that it illicitly obtains US technology remain key obstacles.

There are also some broader macro-economic influences at play, not the least of which is a weak savings rate in the United States as well as the role the USA dollar plays as the world's reserve currency.

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Cohen also testified privately before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. In a statement, Sekulow called Cohen's comments "completely false".

"The risk could be more to the downside, but on the other hand this would take away some certainty and that is good for companies looking to invest", said Sebastien Page, head of global multi-asset strategy at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore.

President Trump's America First policies are not having their intended effect. A few months back, he imposed a 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion and said that number would rise to 25 percent on January 1st if China did not agree to USA trade demands.

As trade talks with China advance, Trump has noticed the market gains that followed each sign of progress, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Their research also revealed that workers in many Republican-leaning counties suffered the most economically from Trump's trade disputes. Trump is trying to reach a new trade deal with China and hopes to strike an agreement with President Xi Jinping in the coming weeks, but the stakes could not be higher.

"Trade wars are good, and easy to win", Trump said.

Cellphone imports increased $0.6 billion.

"We compute that tradeable real wages fall the most in heavily GOP counties because of the [trade] war", the study found.

News broke this week that Trump intends to essentially revoke preferential treatment on certain Turkish and Indian goods received when imported into the US market, drawing criticism from both countries and potentially opening American exporters up to additional hurdles when trying to reach consumers in those countries.

Another is that other countries have levied their own retaliatory tariffs on our own products - most famously, red-state goods such as soybeans and bourbon.

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