Record U.S. trade deficit in 2018 reflects failure of Trump’s trade policies
DESPARDES News Monitor — Statistics show that the trade balance of the United States continues to increase. In 2018, the deficit was $891.23 billion– an increase of 10.4% over 2017 figure.
In 2009, the trade balance amounted to a deficit of $549.25 billion which over the next eight years (in 2017) increased to $862.21 billion and reached almost the same level as it was in 2007. Over President Trump’s watch, the imbalance further increased and surpassed the highest figure in more than a decade.
The trade balance is calculated by subtracting the imports from the exports of a country.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the rapid growth of U.S. trade deficits reflect the failure of Trump administration trade policies.
President Trump has used tariffs as leverage to make good on campaign promises and policy that he has struggled to achieve through other avenues. Notably, the Trump administration is continuing a nearly 18-month long trade war started with China over intellectual property laws and now includes other items including Huawei’s foray in the US.
The U.S. goods trade deficit with China reached a new record in 2018– nearly 50 percent of total trade deficit.
China is now the third biggest trading partner with the U.S. as a result of the increase, and due to lesser US exports to China.
Also, Monday, June 10th is the date that President Trump threatens to enact a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods if Mexico does not make additional efforts to stem the flow of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border. That 5 percent rate is expected to increase to 25 percent if the action taken by the Mexican government is not deemed satisfactory.
Mexico has threatened to hit back with tariffs of its own, likely targeting farm products in Trump supporting states. Mexico is the biggest trading partner with the United States, bringing total trade in goods to over 150 billion, making up about 15 percent of all goods the U.S. trades.