Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficit Went Up Again In February

Dave Johnson

Today’s February trade deficit report shows that exports fell, which costs jobs, and imports increased, which costs jobs.

The U.S. international goods and services trade deficit in February was $42.3 billion, up 7.7 percent from a revised $39.3 billion in January. According to the AP,

U.S. exports slipped 1.1 percent to $190.4 billion as sales of commercial aircraft, computers and farm goods fell. Imports edged up 0.4 percent to $232.7 billion, reflecting gains in imports of autos and clothing which offset a drop in crude oil that fell to the lowest level in more than three years.

The trade deficit with China fell 25.1 percent in February to $20.9 billion, but the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) points out that the combined January and February U.S. goods deficit with China was $48.7 billion, only slightly lower than the $51.2 billion over the same period in 2013.

What This Means

That is $42.3 billion of jobs and wealth that was drained from our economy in a single month. It doesn’t matter how much we might increase exports if we don’t do something about imports, too, because if imports are higher than exports that is a net loss of jobs and wealth.

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