The U.S. recorded its biggest-ever annual trade deficit with China...Is anyone paying attention?
The world's media are paying close attention right now to events unfolding in Egypt, with President Hosni Mubarak resigning. And rightly so, the media should be covering this dramatic story.
However, another significant news item is, unfortunately, getting lost in the shuffle today. Final 2010 trade figures for the U.S. were released this morning and they show that the annual U.S. goods deficit with China reached a new record of $273 billion.
What this really means is that, despite a continuing economic slump, the U.S. is racking up a bigger trade gap than ever with China. It also means that jobs and manufacturing in a wide variety of sectors, from auto to high-tech to robotics, keep moving overseas.
The Associated Press reported on the record trade gap between the two countries, observing that the China trade deficit is politically sensitive due to Beijing's policy of "manipulating its currency to gain unfair trade advantages and erecting barriers to keep U.S. products out."
The 20% increase in the trade deficit with China is also "the largest imbalance the United States has ever recorded with a single country."
The Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul was quoted on the need for Congress to pass legislation that would "strengthen the powers of the Administration to impose trade sanctions on countries found to be manipulating their currency to gain trade advantages." Paul also observed that it "will be hard to get our unemployment rate down if our trade deficit keeps going up."
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