US Trade Deficit Jumped by 12.1% in 2017

UPDATE 1-Canada December trade deficit balloons as imports hit record high

This makes it increasingly hard to meet Donald Trump's promise the country to reduce the gap between imports and exports.

So naturally, in his first year of office, the USA trade deficit hit its highest level in nine years. For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 per cent to US$566 billion, the biggest since 2008.

Despite his firery rhetoric against trade, the Trump administration made few inroads on trade policy outside of slapping higher tariffs on what they consider offending products from China to Canada.

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Within the former, imports of goods jumped by $6.0bn to reach $210.8bn, led by increases of $1.8bn in purchases of pharmaceutical preparations from overseas, of $1.7bn in those of cell phones and other household goods, of $1.1bn in passenger cars and of $0.8bn in capital goods.

The deficit in December increased by 5.3% to 53.1 billion Dollars.

While improving overseas growth and a weaker dollar bode well for exports, President Donald Trump's efforts to seek more favourable terms with USA trading partners remain a work in progress, and his tax-cut legislation may cause the deficit to widen further.

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Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the US increased to $6.6 billion in December compared with $6.0 billion in November. The goods deficit with China rose 8.1 percent to hit a record $375.2 billion in 2017, while the trade gap with Mexico rose to $71.1 billion.

Trump has said he plans to take a more forceful stance to bring down America's trade deficit. The trade deficit of the largest economy in the world is rising in 2017, mainly due to the strengthening of the economy. In December, a strong increase in imports possibly resulted from some suppliers rushing goods into the country at year end, fearing import tariffs in 2018.

The surge in the December trade deficit was flagged by an advanced goods trade deficit report published in late January.

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