Trade

The Trade Deficit Reached An All-Time High

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As of this month, China had only purchased 32 percent of what Trump promised they would under his "biggest and greatest" deal ever, but that's evidently just one part of a larger pattern.

Our trade deficit in goods increased to an all-time record high of $82.9 billion in August according to the Commerce Department.

Imports increased more than exports, but exports were in a deeper hole to begin with because of Trump's trade war.

Imports of foreign goods such as autos and consumer goods climbed 3.1% in August to $201.3 billion and returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The same can’t be said for exports. They rose 2.8% in August to $118.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday, but are still down about 13% compared to just before the pandemic struck.

The advanced report only includes goods. Services such as travel and tourism aren’t included until the full report that gets released next week. Services have been hurt even worse with few people flying and traveling to other countries.

It's actually quite astonishing that our trade deficit has soared higher than it has ever been; higher than it was at previous peaks in the global economy.

During last night's presidential debate, Trump claimed he had created the "greatest economy in history" that was only thwarted by the "China virus," but this is the reality. The coronavirus pandemic would have severely harmed even the most robust economy, but we were already in decline before it existed. We actually entered recession in February of this year before any Americans had died and before we shut down any part of the economy.

The irony of Trump's record and rhetoric at this particular moment in time is that our trade deficit was higher in August than it ever was during the Obama administration. Trump says Obama and Democrats in general are weak on trade, but Joe Biden was part of that administration with lower trade deficits.

  • muselet

    How much of that drop in exports, I wonder, is a result of the world’s distaste for Donald Trump? I’m guessing it’s a nonzero number.

    –alopecia