The goods trade deficit with China reached its highest annual level ever according to the latest data from the Commerce Department. The goods deficit with China hit $375.2 billion last year, surpassing the previous record set in 2015.
News of the expanding deficit comes as American metal workers face more layoffs. In the past year, steel imports from all nations into the U.S. rose by more than 15 percent, and at least three American steel mills announced closures.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
"I share President Donald Trump’s disdain for trade deficits. I can’t imagine the record goods deficit with China in 2017 is anything he’ll be crowing about. But he can and certainly should do something about it.
"The president should start by taking action to defend American steel and aluminum makers and workers from imports that are harming our national security. The Section 232 actions should be implemented sooner rather than later. He can follow that up by imposing penalties on China for its gargantuan intellectual property rights theft by completing the Section 301 case. He can conclude by renegotiating trade agreements in a manner that will reduce our trade deficits with NAFTA partners and South Korea in particular.
"While much of the economy is growing, trade-impacted sectors like steel face enormous challenges. Many American factory workers bought into the promise of the president’s trade policy reforms, but they are still waiting for results.
"The president must act swiftly on the Section 232 cases to keep his promises to America’s workers."