AAM Statement: Trade Deficit Hits Record High in 2018

The goods deficit hit $891.3 billion in 2018, the largest in U.S. history, according to Commerce Department data released on Wednesday. America's goods deficit with China hit a record $419.2 billion last year, something President Trump and his administration must remember as they work toward a U.S.-China trade deal.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said:

"Perhaps Donald Trump will now discover that tweets and bluster alone won't dramatically shrink the trade deficit. The selective interventions of the administration on trade have been helpful to key sectors, but these actions haven't put a dent in the massive deficit. The administration's fiscal policies have helped to boost the trade deficit, as has its reluctance to engage more actively in exchange rate misalignment.

"While the trade deficit results from many factors, the staggering sum represents lost opportunities for American workers and businesses. If the president wants to back his words with actions, any trade deal with China will insist on dramatic, structural changes in Beijing's state-led economy, which have contributed to massive industrial overcapacity in key sectors. The next few weeks of negotiations with China are critical to the future of American manufacturing. We can't afford a deal that doesn't deliver real and lasting change."

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