The Trade Deficit Is Up Under Trump


After increasing in 2017 compared to 2016, newly released trade data from the first half 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 the deficit.

  • The 2018 first-half goods trade deficit with China is the largest ever recorded at $186 billion, up from $175 billion for the same period in 2017. This compares to $167 billion for the first six months of 2016, Obama’s last year.
  • The goods trade deficit with the world of $404 billion is larger than any period since before the 2008 financial crisis – up 5 percent over the first half of 2017 deficit of $386 billion.
  • The NAFTA first-half 2018 goods deficit is up relative to the first half of 2017 – an increase from $99 billion to $103 billion – after increasing in 2017 from 2016, President Obama’s last year in office.