Washington frets about the budget deficit, which is money we owe mostly to each other and have spent on things we do for each other to make our lives better. But the trade deficit is money that actually leaves our economy, making us poorer and less able to make our lives better.
The November trade deficit numbers are out:
- The monthly U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services rose to $48.7 billion in November, up from $42.1 billion in October.
- The monthly goods deficit with China was still huge at $29.0 billion in November. That is down a bit from the all-time record of $29.5 billion in October.
- The 2012 U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $290 billion for those 11 months, and will probably top 2011's record of $295 billion.
Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), issued the following statement:
"Despite talk of a manufacturing renaissance, we will shatter 2011's record $295 billion annual trade deficit with China when the data for December comes in next month. The United States recorded a $29 billion bilateral trade deficit with China in November alone, bringing us to a $290 billion trade deficit with China so far in 2012.
"A recent study by Justin Pierce and Peter Schott ('The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment') confirmed what we have known for some time: our trade deficit with China is draining manufacturing jobs from the United States. Unless we take aggressive steps to act in our own national interest, manufacturing in America will never reach its full potential. That means aggressive trade enforcement and ending China's currency manipulation and other market-distorting practices.
"I want to see reshoring accelerate from a trickle to a trend. We won't get there unless trade with China comes into balance."
So while the inside-the-Beltway crowd worries about budget deficits, the serious problem of our trade deficit – which bleeds out jobs, factories, industries and our ability to make a living as a country – continues to go unaddressed.
See also, December: Trade Deficit Dots Connect To Billionaires