USA trade deficit jumps to 10-year high in 2018


In addition to a record trade gap in goods with China, the imbalance reached new peaks with Mexico ($81.5 billion) and the European Union ($169.3 billion).

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.

The President thus begins his re-election drive with a core campaign promise unfulfilled - and with a recent flurry of economic research showing that his embrace of tariffs is damaging the U.S. economy.

What's more, Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut enacted in late 2017 served to further fuel the deficit.

The strong dollar matters because it has led to near-record deficits in manufactured goods and non-oil goods that are being masked by increases in exports of oil and services, Scott said.

Trump appears to be on the verge of doubling down on his tariff strategy, with reports that the US Commerce Department has, conveniently, determined that imports of European autos represent a threat to US national security, the same pretext the administration used to slap tariffs on Canada's aluminium exports. You can't wish it away.

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The US economy has been running hot at a time when, partly due to the trade conflicts, other major economies have been cooling. Trump has complained that a stronger dollar has weakened his hand in his trade wars and put a damper on USA growth.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury prices rose.

Trump has always been convinced that the U.S. gets a raw deal from its trade ties. The U.S. trade deficit, whose supposedly disgusting, disgraceful size Trump ran against in 2016, is now effectively his. US and Chinese officials have recently signalled that they're 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.

Mr McKinney said he did not know of any firm plans for a United States delegation to go back to China for further negotiations but added that such a trip would not come as a surprise.

USA and Chinese officials have hinted that some kind of agreement could be finalized by the end of March, with Trump and President Xi Jinping possibly meeting to formalize the deal at Trump's private club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. "When things are booming we consume more imports".

Other data on Wednesday suggested some slowing in the labor market, though the pace of job gains remains more than enough to drive the unemployment rate down.

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Weinstein's study, co-written withMary Amiti of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, and Princeton University's Stephen Redding, reviewed what actually occurred a year ago after United States tariffs took effect and concluded that Americans paid the entire tariff bill. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.

Trump's tariffs also may cause USA 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. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs.

The study also found sizable costs relative to any expected benefits.

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.

The duties cost consumers $1.4 billion a month and businesses $3 billion a month by the end of previous year, according to research released last week by Mary Amiti, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, and economists from Princeton and Columbia universities.

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