The Trade Deficit Is Up Under Trump

 

After increasing in 2017 compared to 2016, newly released trade data from the first three quarters of 2018 shows that the U.S. trade deficit has continued its upward climb during the second year of the Trump administration despite the president's campaign pledges to reduce it.

  • The goods trade deficit with China over the first three quarters of 2018 is the largest ever recorded at $301 billion, up from $280 billion for the same period in 2017. This compares to $268 billion for the first nine months of 2016, Obama’s last year.
     
  • The goods deficit with NAFTA partners in 2018 is up 11 percent relative to the first three quarters of 2017 – an increase from $144 billion to $160 billion – and is now larger than any period since before the 2008-09 financial crisis.
     
  • The goods trade deficit with the world of $643 billion is larger than any nine-month period since before the 2008-09 financial crisis – up 7 percent over the first three quarters of 2017.