US Trade Deficit Soars To Nine-Year High During Trump's First Year

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If we put aside services, the trade balance with the rest of the world reached a deficit of 796.1 billion (+ 8.1%).

U.S. President has vowed to shrink the trade gap through his "America First" trade policies, which aim to shut out more unfairly traded imports and renegotiate past U.S. free trade agreements. The advance report on goods trade balance, which was released earlier in the month, recorded a broadening of the goods trade deficit by United States dollars 1.7 billion. The fourth quarter was one of the worst; in December, the "trade deficit in goods and services rose to $53.1 billion, up from $50.4 billion in November and highest since October 2008", the AP reported.

The US trade gap surged to its highest level in almost a decade during President Donald Trump's first year in office - more unwelcome economic news after Wall Street suffered historic losses, and setting up a test of confidence for his administration.

"This is the widest now since the recession", said economist Chris Rupkey of MUFG Union Bank.

The U.S. imported numerous foreign-made goods in 2017, many of which were produced in China.

Recently, Trump levied steep tariffs on imported solar panel technology and washing machines, which immediately boosted prices for US consumers.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., December 13, 2016.

"The same trade policy that Trump attacks ferociously and promised to speedily replace is still in place", said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.

The president's rhetoric towards China has fluctuated from time to time.

The goods-trade deficit with southern neighbor Mexico increased 10 percent previous year to $71.1 billion, the highest since 2007.

For goods only, the deficit also reached past year a record level with China to 375.2 billion, which could comfort the USA president in his idea to continue its commercial reprisals against Beijing. Administration officials are weighing possible actions against China over its handling of intellectual property and general moves to reduce surging imports of steel and aluminum. "Looking ahead, we expect the trade deficit to widen further in 2018", said Gregory Daco, chief USA economist at Oxford Economics. Earlier this year, he imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines.

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