Enormous, Humongous May Trade Deficit Follows Continuing Pattern

Dave Johnson

Our enormous, humongous, continuing trade deficit dropped a bit in May from the month before, after five months of increases, according to the Commerce Department. The change was mostly because of an 11.3 percent increase in petroleum products and not so much because of goods that we make here vs. buy from elsewhere.

The trade deficit is enormous and ongoing, draining our country of wages, jobs, factories and our standard of living.

The trade deficit fell 5.6 percent in May, to $44.4 billion. That’s $44.4 billion of orders that could have gone to businesses that make and do things inside the U.S. Those companies would have had to hire hundreds of thousands of people to get that done. Our ongoing trade deficit meant that first-quarter gross domestic product was 1.5 percent lower than it would have been without the trade deficit.

Exports of goods and services were up 1 percent to a record $195.5 billion in May. Imports fell 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit with China rose 5.4 percent to $28.8 billion. For the year the trade deficit with China is 3.2 percent higher than it was last year. Last year we had a record trade deficit with China, so this is very bad news.

Here is something you can do: Ask your local candidates for Congress if they understand what a trade deficit is, how large it is, how it affects jobs and the economy and what they intend to do about it. (See The Democrat’s Agenda Should Be: Fix The Trade Deficit.)

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