Enormous, Humongous July Trade Deficit, Even Before China Devaluation

Dave Johnson

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday that the July goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $41.9 billion. This is down from a revised $45.2 billion in June.

This is an increase from May’s enormous, humongous $40.9 billion trade deficit.

We had the highest ever level of imports in autos and auto parts, at $30 billion.

The trade deficit with China was $31.57 billion. This is the highest monthly trade deficit of this year, and it was 75 percent of our July trade deficit.

The U.S. goods deficit with Japan was $5.7 billion, up from $5.2 billion in June.

The U.S. goods deficit with South Korea was $2.6 billion, up from $2.3 billion in June.

Note that these numbers do not reflect China’s big currency devaluation, which happened in August. Even without that, this trade deficit measures a terrible situation for American manufacturers and workers.

Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said of the July trade deficit,

“Some important questions that could improve or worsen the prospects for factory workers could be answered over the next six weeks. Will Congress pass legislation to allow trade cases based on currency manipulation? Will our TPP negotiators insist on stronger rule of origin, market access, and enforceable currency disciplines? Will President Obama state unequivocally to Chinese President Xi that China will face robust sanctions not only for cyber hacks but also for other forms of trade cheating? And will the Treasury Department name China a currency manipulator in October?”

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