August's trade gap was the biggest in 14 years. That's probably good news

Oct 6, 2020
It's a sign that Americans have money to spend on consumer goods and businesses are importing parts for things they'll sell to consumers.
A container ship sits at the Port of Oakland in Northern California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The falling trade deficit can mean a lot of things

Jan 7, 2020
U.S. consumers could be buying more American products. Or just buying less of everything.
David McNew/Getty Images

Trade gap in goods sinks for third consecutive month

Dec 30, 2019
The causes? The trade war and a slowing global economy.
Shipping containers from China and other nations are unloaded at the Long Beach Port in Los Angeles in February.
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Trade deficit narrows as trade tensions continue to bite

Nov 5, 2019
Tariffs on foreign-made imports to the U.S., and retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, are dragging down exports and imports.
Apples are one crop that have been hit by the trade war. Above, apples produced by Spring Valley Farm and Orchard in West Virginia are on display at a farmers market.
Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP via Getty Images

Trade deficit widens in March

May 9, 2019
The overall deficit getting bigger isn't necessarily a bad thing, said Dan Ikenson, director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.
Container ships are docked at the Port of Oakland on March 06, 2019 in California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Why Trump didn't shrink the trade deficit in 2018

Mar 7, 2019
Americans imported a record number of goods last year, according to new data from the Commerce Department released Wednesday. U.S. service exports also hit a record high. The net effect was the largest trade deficit since 2008 — $621 billion, up nearly 13 percent from the prior year. However, many economists say the U.S. trade deficit […]
President Donald Trump's administration is said to be considering changes to the way the trade deficit is calculated.
Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Here’s how deficit-inducing tax cuts lead to trade deficits

Sep 5, 2018
The U.S. trade deficit in July surged to a five-month high, $50.1 billion, as exports of products like soybeans and civilian aircraft fell, while imports reached record levels. President Donald Trump regularly complains about trade deficits, but his own spending policies tend to undermine the goal of lowering the trade gap. One part of the […]

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The U.S. trade deficit got smaller in April but a wider lens shows a less rosy picture

Jun 6, 2018
Fluctuations in the trade deficit coupled with recent trade tensions cause a rebalancing of trade flow.

The U.S. wants China to buy more American goods to help lower the trade deficit. Does it work that way?

May 18, 2018
There’s been a little bit of confusion these past couple days on how trade talks with China are going. U.S. officials told CNN that China had offered to bump up purchases of American goods by $200 billion. Chinese officials said that’s not true. The Trump administration believes that the trade deficit with China could be brought […]

China's carrot and stick approach to U.S. tariffs

Mar 26, 2018
The U.S. has accused the country of forcing American firms to transfer technology to gain access to its markets.
President Donald Trump has announced tariffs on as much as $60 billion worth of Chinese products. Above, a worker stands on a dock in Shanghai.