US Trade Deficit With China Grew in April Despite Narrowing Elsewhere
The United States’ trade deficit with China widened in April, despite Trump administration tariffs on thousands of Chinese goods, and even as the gap between the U.S. and other countries narrowed.
Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has sought to subdue America’s persistent trade deficit, claiming it was caused by bad trade deals agreed to by the weak negotiators of past administrations.
Since then, he’s slapped tariffs on important steel and aluminum from a number of trading partners, including Canada, and engaged in a full-fledged trade war with China after slapping steep tariffs on a wide range of goods.
Despite all this, in April the U.S. trade deficit with China rose 29.7% to $26.9 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.
While exports to China dropped 24.3%, imports climbed 11.6%, proving once again what economists have long maintained — Americans simply buy more than they produce, and imports are necessary to meet their needs.
Since the period covered in Friday’s report, Trump has more than doubled the tariffs he’d already imposed on $200 billion in Chinese goods, and he’s said he’s prepared to extend tariffs an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports.
On Monday, he is set to open a trade war on another front by imposing 5% tariffs on all Mexican imports, ratcheting them up to 25% on October 1 if Mexico doesn’t do more to stop the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. border.
Of course, Friday’s report didn’t just focus on China. Overall, the Commerce Department said, the gap between the goods and services the U.S. buys and those it sells abroad fell 2.1% to $50.8 billion in April from March.
Exports fell 2.2% to $206.8 billion on a big decline in orders for civilian aircraft.
Imports dropped 2.2% to $257.6 billion with fewer purchases of semiconductors and a variety of chemicals.
The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is currently running at about $205.4 billion, up 2% from $201.3 billion in January-April 2018.
In The News
WASHINGTON — The U.S.-China trade war took a dangerous turn for the worse Monday as Beijing allowed its currency to weaken and said it was halting new American farm purchases, sending U.S. stocks in a tailspin and heightening risks of a global economic downturn. The Chinese... Read More
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump announced Thursday the U.S. is placing an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective September 1. “Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of... Read More
WASHINGTON - A House working group formed to negotiate changes to President Donald Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week that while it's made substantial progress, it's still waiting for a counter proposal for requested changes from the White House. The... Read More
BEIJING — Almost three months after their trade talks broke down in acrimony, Chinese and American negotiators meet again in Shanghai this week amid tempered expectations for breakthroughs in their yearlong trade war. Two days of talks are scheduled to restart Tuesday after an uneasy truce... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. budget deficit increased by $140 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, rising to $747.1 billion, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The department said the deficit for the current fiscal year through June is up 23.1% over the... Read More
WASHINGTON - Six members of the New Democrat Coalition wrote the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday urging him to respond to congressional concerns regarding the new North American Free Trade agreement, known as USMCA, to ensure its successful bipartisan passage. “While we appreciate your willingness to... Read More