Commerce Department: US trade deficit falls to to three-year low

President Donald Trump’s tough America First economic and trade policies appear to be paying off in a big way, despite all of the doom and gloom predictions from naysayers and all of the hand wringing over the trade war with China.

Breitbart reported that the U.S. trade deficit in November declined for the third month in a row and is at its lowest point since October 2016.

Furthermore, MarketWatch reported that, if the trend is reflected in December’s numbers, the U.S. could see its first annual decline in the trade deficit since 2013.

Trade with China

According to data released by the Commerce Department, in November, the gap between U.S. exports and imports from foreign nations stood at $43.09 billion, which beat the economic forecasts that predicted a $43.6 billion deficit. The deficit in November was down from the $46.9 billion gap in October, which was down from the $47.2 billion deficit in September.

Overall, total U.S. exports were registered at $208.6 billion, up $1.4 billion from the previous month. Meanwhile, imports stood at $251.7 billion, down $2.5 billion from October.

One of the biggest changes in the deficit came via trade with China, which fell from $31.26 billion to $26.4 billion. That change transpired thanks to a slight increase of about $1.2 billion in U.S. exports to China while imports from that nation declined by about $3.7 billion.

Energy exports driving success

MarketWatch noted that the biggest driver of the reduced trade deficit aside from China was a surge in U.S. energy exports.

That development has come about due to President Trump’s strong encouragement of domestic energy production via drilling and fracking for oil and natural gas, which has led to a surplus in supply and growing energy independence from other producers.

It was noted that the U.S. had an $800 million surplus in oil — the largest ever on record — and that imports of crude oil had fallen to the lowest level recorded in nearly three decades.

Other contributing factors included increased exports of U.S.-produced aircraft engines, automobiles, and energy production equipment, while there was a decrease in the import of foreign-manufactured goods such as aircraft, cell phones, computers, and prescription drugs.

Still more to do

To be sure, the trade deficit is still an issue of great concern, and there remains plenty of work to do before a more advantageous split between exports and imports can be achieved.

That said, President Trump’s policies on economics and trade, as well as his focus on strengthening U.S. manufacturing and energy production, appear to be paying major dividends in regard to the trade imbalance, and another four years of his policies in action could conceivably erase, or at least significantly reduce even further, the remaining deficit.

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