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U.S. trade deficit in Trump’s first year soars to 9-year high of $566 billion

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2018 at 12:15 PM
  • 11 Replies
The numbers: The U.S. trade deficit in December and for the full year both rose to the highest levels since 2008, complicating efforts by President Trump to fulfill his vow to reduce the gap.

The deficit in December rose 5.3% to $53.1 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $52.2 billion gap.



Imports increased 2.5% to a record $256.5 billion in December. Exports edged up 1.8% to $203.4 billion, also a new high water mark.

In 2017, the U.S. trade gap leaped 12.1% to a nine-year high of $566 billion.

What happened: The large deficit in the fourth quarter prevented the U.S. from reaching 3% growth for the third quarter in row, a feat last accomplished in 2005.

Gross domestic product expanded 2.6% in the final three months of 2017, but the higher trade deficit shaved off 1.1 points. GDP is the official scorecard for the nation’s economy.


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In 2017, the U.S imported more foreign-made cars, computers, cell phones and other consumer goods, much of which was produced in China.

The deficit in goods with China hit a record $375 billion. Imports from Mexico also reached a new peak.

Trump has targeted both countries with get-tough policies aimed at putting the U.S. on more equal footing, but progress has been virtually nonexistent so far.

Oil imports also surged, reflecting in part higher global petroleum prices.


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While annual imports were the highest on record, the U.S. also boosted exports in 2017 to the second-highest level ever.

The U.S. shipped more oil and gas — an offshoot of the fracking revolution — as well as more autos, industrial equipment and passenger planes.

The big picture: The U.S. trade deficit widened in 2017 due to high oil prices and also to a strengthening economy. When Americans are more prosperous, they tend to buy more imported goods.

President Trump has promised to slash the trade deficit, and he’s taken a hard line with key trading partners such as Canada, Mexico and China, but it’s hard to see how he will succeed when so many presidents have failed. The last time the U.S. ran a surplus was in 1975.

Opinion: How the Federal Reserve will throttle stocks into 2019

The U.S. cannot control the international price of oil, for one thing, or discourage Americans from buying imported cars, computers or cell phones. In many cases U.S. companies no longer produce these goods.

Even if the White House puts in place stiffer trade rules that help the U.S. economy in the long run — a trade war could do the opposite — progress is unlikely to be easy or swift.

What they are saying? “Looking ahead, we expect the trade deficit to widen further in 2018,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. A strong economy is likely to encourage consumers to buy more imported goods, he said.

Read: The stock market is plunging: Here’s what advisers say you should do

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.47% DJIA, -1.47% and Standard & Poor’s 50 SPX, -1.09% rose sharply in early Tuesday trades, one day after the largest point decline in the 122-year history of the index.


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-trade-deficit-in-trumps-first-year-soars-to-9-year-high-of-566-billion-2018-02-06?mod=mw_share_facebook
by on Feb. 9, 2018 at 12:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ILovemyPaulie
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2018 at 12:23 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 

Mom2Just1
by Platinum Member on Feb. 9, 2018 at 1:31 PM
4 moms liked this

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 


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Sisteract
by Whoopie on Feb. 9, 2018 at 1:33 PM

And Isolationism never works.

ILovemyPaulie
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2018 at 3:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Why? Do you only buy his products?

Quoting Mom2Just1:

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 



Sisteract
by Whoopie on Feb. 9, 2018 at 3:30 PM
3 moms liked this

It's never going to be 1950s America- we are not going back to that type of work force or level of jobs.

A global economy and automation/ technology prevent that.

Wrong solution, folks.

manna080
by Member on Feb. 9, 2018 at 4:10 PM
7 moms liked this

Why does Trump get a free pass but other companies are expected to move back to the US?  Just like why is it OK for Trump to hire immigrants for his business so he can pay them less but conservatives were ready to boycott companies who said they were going to hire immigrants?  It's such a double standard.

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Why? Do you only buy his products?

Quoting Mom2Just1:

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 



GrayDuck41
by on Feb. 9, 2018 at 4:13 PM
Exactly.

Quoting manna080:

Why does Trump get a free pass but other companies are expected to move back to the US?  Just like why is it OK for Trump to hire immigrants for his business so he can pay them less but conservatives were ready to boycott companies who said they were going to hire immigrants?  It's such a double standard.

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Why? Do you only buy his products?

Quoting Mom2Just1:

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 

Mom2Just1
by Platinum Member on Feb. 9, 2018 at 4:15 PM
5 moms liked this

Do you really need to ask this? It is simple.  He wants more products made in the U.S.  He should lead by example. Start with is own products.  I don't buy anything made by trump.  Even his own MAGA hats were made in China. Talk about being a hypocrite.  Why would not hold him to the same standards you expect everyone else to follow?


Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Why? Do you only buy his products?

Quoting Mom2Just1:

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 



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LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Feb. 10, 2018 at 12:31 PM
Interesting. I missed this info.
BluesPagan2.0
by IWantTacos on Feb. 10, 2018 at 12:33 PM
2 moms liked this
Lmao. From your original reply

“This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here. This is the goal we need once again.”


Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Why? Do you only buy his products?

Quoting Mom2Just1:

Will Trump be moving his products back to the US anytime soon? 

Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Yes, this is because people here in the USA are making more money, getting jobs and are able to finally spend like they have not during the bleak Obama years. Increased demand for products has skyrocketed because we are spending again.  This is why we need to keep our money here, buy American made and persuade Companies to stay here.  This is the goal we need once again. 

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