US goods trade deficit in August hits record high

New York: The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods hit a record high in August, despite President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign promises to reduce it dramatically by negotiating new trade deals and getting tough on unfair foreign trade practices, a Commerce Department report has said.

The overall trade deficit was $67.1 billion, reflecting a surplus in services trade with the rest of the world — the highest since 2006. The deficit for U.S. goods trade by itself was $83.9 billion, the highest ever recorded.

The report also showed that U.S. exports to China continue to lag behind the pace needed to meet Trump’s goal under a “phase one” trade deal signed in January.

Trump, who is running for reelection in part on his ability as a deal-maker, has claimed to have achieved more in the “phase one” deal with China than any previous administration.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused trade to plummet around the world. Still, the sharp increase in imports showed the U.S. economy is closer to returning to year-ago levels.

U.S. imports from all countries totaled $239 billion in August, compared to $231.7 billion in July. Exports also increased to $171.9 billion, from $168.3 billion. But the bigger rise in imports pushed the monthly U.S. trade deficit to a 14-year high.

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