Trade deficits with China, Japan Rise in April, spelling trouble for U.S. manufacturing: AAM Statement.
The latest monthly U.S. trade figures were released this morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce:
- In April, the overall U.S. international goods and services deficit rose to $40.3 billion, up from $37.1 billion in March (revised).
- The monthly U.S. goods deficit with China climbed to $24.1 billion in April, up from $17.9 billion in March.
- The U.S. goods deficit with Japan rose to $6.9 billion in April, up from $6.6 billion in March.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
"It’s never a good sign when growth in imports more than doubles growth in exports, but that’s exactly what we just witnessed with the April trade numbers. Our trade deficit is headed in the wrong direction, which stifles the opportunity for manufacturing job growth.
"Once again, our trade deficit with China is growing. I’m not confident that this issue will really be on the table when President Obama and President Xi Jinping meet later this week in California. But it should be. It’s difficult to forge a true partnership with such an imbalanced economic relationship.
"At the same time, our trade deficit with Japan is on the rise. That is a direct consequence of the 'green light' that the Treasury Department gave to Japan to dramatically lower the value of the yen. There is no greater threat to the health of our domestic auto sector and the jobs it provides at this time. Japan’s currency manipulation is a clear indication that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) must include binding and enforceable measures to prevent such trade-distorting practices."
Yesterday, AAM sent a letter to President Obama urging a hard line in meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- In the letter, Paul listed key national concerns, including Chinese cyber espionage and hacking of advanced U.S. weapons systems. Paul said that President Obama must "stand up to China’s bullying and outright belligerent behavior” when it comes to cyber intrusions and such predatory trade practices as currency manipulation, forced technology transfer, and subsidies.
- Read AAM's full press release ahead of the Obama-Xi meetings.
- CHART OF THE DAY: America's record goods trade deficit with China helps fuel Beijing's military expansion. See below. A rising trade deficit tracks closely with a rising Chinese military budget.
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