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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell for the second straight month in February, and the politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between the goods and services that the United States sells and what it buys from the rest of the world dropped 3.4% to $49.4 billion in February, the lowest since June. The deficit had slid 14.6% in January. Exports climbed 1.1% to $209.7 billion on a surge in shipments of civilian aircraft, passenger cars and medicine. Imports rose 0.2% to $259.1 billion.
Goods - Deficit - China - % - Exports
The goods deficit with China dropped 28.2% to $24.8 billion: Exports to China rose 18.2% to $8.4 billion while imports from China fell 20.2% to $33.2 billion.
President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports in a fight over U.S. allegations that China steals U.S. technology and forces foreign firms to turn over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market. China has retaliated by targeting $110 billion worth of American products.
Trump - Pledge - America - Trade - Deficit
Trump campaigned on a pledge to reduce America’s longstanding trade deficit with the rest of the world. He sees the gap as a sign of economic weakness and as the result of bad trade deals and abusive practices by America’s trading partners.
In addition to targeting Chinese products, Trump has slapped tariffs on imported steel, aluminum, dishwashers and solar panels. And he is threatening to tax imported cars, too.
Fact - Threat - US - Auto - Tariffs
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