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.