Growing Imports Spell Trouble for Obama’s Trade Agenda

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce released the latest monthly U.S. trade figures this morning. The overall monthly U.S. international goods and services trade deficit widened to $46.6 billion in December, from $39.8 billion in November, revised. The goods and services deficit was $505 billion in 2014, up $28.7 billion from 2013.

  • Imports were $2.85 trillion in 2014, up $93.9 billion or 3.4 percent.
  • The monthly U.S. goods deficit with China grew in December to $30.4 billion, up from $29.9 billion in November. 
  • This is the highest recorded yearly U.S. goods deficit with China. The deficit soared to $342.6 billion in 2014, up from $318.7 billion in 2013.
  • The U.S. goods deficit with Japan rose in December to $5.7 billion, up from $5.5 billion in November. The yearly U.S. goods deficit with Japan was $67 billion in 2014.
Commented Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul:

The surge in imports and drop in exports tells me three things: the overly strong dollar is going to be a major drag on growth in 2015, the TPP must including binding currency manipulation deterrents, and the president isn't keeping his promise to get tough on China.

This trade deficit spells trouble for the Obama administration's trade agenda. And it shows just how far we have to go to really spur reshoring and secure more good-paying jobs for American workers.

Weak yen policies and growing trade deficits with Japan cost nearly 900,000 U.S. jobs in 2013, according to new research conducted by the Economic Policy Institute.

The United States’ trade deficit with Japan and 10 other countries in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership – many of whom engage in currency manipulation – has more than doubled from $110.3 billion in 1997 to an estimated $261.7 billion in 2013.

Read Scott Paul in Real Clear Politics: Obama's Stance on Currency Manipulation -- in His Own Words.