The Enormous, Humongous October Trade Deficit Report

Dave Johnson

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday that the October goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $43.9 billion. This is for a single month. This is up $1.4 billion – 3.4 percent – from September’s enormous, humongous $42.5 (revised) billion trade deficit.

This enormous, humongous trade deficit will continue to drag down economic growth, job prospects, wages and living standards.

October exports were $184.1 billion, $2.7 billion less than September exports. October imports were $228.0 billion, $1.3 billion less than September imports. The October goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $2.1 billion to $63.1 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.6 billion to $19.2 billion.

The goods trade deficit with China was $30.2 billion, with the European Union $13.3 billion, with Mexico $6.3 billion, Germany $6.2 billion, Japan $5.3 billion, South Korea $2.3 billion.

See this week’s post, “Will the TPP Increase Trade? That’s the Wrong Question“:

Here’s the thing. If you close a factory in the U.S., lay off all of the workers, devastate the surrounding community, and move the production to a low-wage country like Vietnam, bring the same goods back to the U.S. and sell them in the same stores, you have just “increased trade” because now those goods cross a border.

[. . .] If our trade policies were combined with policies that share the benefits from lower production costs, etc. with all of us on all sides of trade borders, then increased trade would be a good thing. That is not what is happening. The trade policies are designed to break worker power and to break governmental power.

Our country’s trade policies are making a few people really, really rich(er) but are doing the rest of us no favors at all.

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