US trade deficit with China hits record high despite Trump's tariffs
The United States’ trade deficit with China hit a record high in September despite President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policy, according to figures by the US Commerce Department.
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The deficit in goods and services trade with China rose to record highs of $40.2 billion for the month, the department said in its report released on Friday.
The Trump administration has imposed steep tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products, a policy which has locked the US in a bitter trade war with Beijing.
Since taking office, Trump has claimed that China’s rise as an exporting powerhouse has hurt US workers and manufacturing.
Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and has threatened to target all Chinese exports to the US. Beijing has responded by imposing tariffs on $110 billion in US products.
Other trade partners of the US, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico, have also retaliated with tit-for-tat tariffs against American products.
In addition, America’s overall foreign trade gap in goods and services from all countries increased 1.3 percent from August to hit $54 billion in September as imports surged amid strong domestic demand.
The overall trade deficit increased 10 percent in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2017.
Experts say the US trade gap will likely continue to widen because of a softening of economies in other countries, reducing the demand for American goods and services.
The government reported last week that the trade deficit cut 1.78 percentage points from gross domestic product in the third quarter.