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US Trade Deficit Widens More Than Expected To USD48.7 Billion In October
06 December 2017, 12:57 | Andy Ferguson
Canada's export sector shows sign of life, trade deficit shrinks
Record imports from China helped drive up the US trade deficit 8.6 percent in October as retailers stocked up for the holidays, Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Imports rose 1.6% in October from the prior month, while exports were little changed.
Total U.S. exports were $195.9 billion in October, down by less than $0.1 billion from September.
United States imports of goods and services rose to the highest on record in October, widening the trade gap to its highest level in nine months, according to government data released on Tuesday (Dec 5).
Meanwhile, imports fell to $45.9 billion in October, mainly due to a drop in motor vehicles and parts which fell 8.1 per cent. Import volumes fell 3.9 per cent while prices rose 2.4 per cent.
It was the second straight month in which the U.S. trade gap widened, driven in part by goods imported from China of US$48.2 billion, an all-time high, bringing the U.S. trade deficit with that country to US$31.9 billion.
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Trump, who has been highly critical of the USA trade deficit with China, shifted responsibility for the gap to previous US administrations for failing to crack down on China amid widening trade gaps.
Average prices for imported crude oil also hit a two-year high at US$47.26 a barrel, moving the value of crude imports up by US$1.5 billion.
The goods deficit with China increased from $34.6 billion in September to $35.2 billion in October.
Strong U.S. consumer spending, buoyed by a tight labor market and sky-high confidence, has also helped drive the recent ramp-up in imports.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a May report that they disagree "with the contention that the goods trade deficit is an appropriate gauge of whether a particular set of trade policies - or trade agreements - is delivering benefits to the American people more broadly".
The White House is attempting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, but has said it could walk away from the pact with Mexico and Canada if it can't broker what the administration sees as a better deal.
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