Goods Trade Deficit with China Hits a Trump Presidency High

By Matthew McMullan
Dec 05 2017 |
G.Tech Technology Factory in Zhuhai, China. | Photo by Flickr user Chris

AAM on Trump’s rhetoric: “Talk is cheap.”

The Commerce Department has released its monthly compilation of trade data. We got a big, bad number in there: The largest monthly bilateral goods trade deficit since President Trump assumed office.

The goods trade deficit with China was $31.9 billion in October – up a full $2 billion from the month before.

This isn’t the highest it’s ever been on a monthly basis (it has been higher under President Obama) but no one like Trump has made trade deficits such a big deal – at least rhetorically.

But so far the Trump administration has done little to rein in the trade gap with China; an abrupt about-face considering all the campaign promises the president made about reshaping existing trade policy and agreements.

AAM President Scott Paul said this in response to today’s trade data:

The president has missed multiple opportunities to put a dent in the trade deficit by holding China accountable for its murky trade practices. Instead, his attention has been diverted elsewhere while he pulls back on key promises to the working class like taking action on out-of-control steel imports.

"Investigations alone don't equate meaningful action, and the growing trade deficit demonstrates this.

"Talk is cheap, and until Trump stands up to China's predatory trade practices, American factory jobs will continue to be at risk."