Posted by 06 March 2019
A key plank in Donald Trump’s presidential platform was reducing the U.S. trade deficit. Today, however, new numbers show that it has reached levels not seen since 2008.
In 2018, the U.S. imported $621 billion more in goods and services than it exported. That is the widest gap since 2008.
Calling the trade deficit a “disaster” during his campaign, he has pursued tariffs and renegotiated trade agreements as a way to close it. Recently labeling himself “Tariff Man,” President Trump has engaged in a trade war with China and imposed new tariffs on goods from that country. He has also attacked long-standing trade agreements and supported tariffs for other nations.
According to President Trump, imports hurt American workers while exports grows the economy. Economists disagree, however, arguing that reducing barriers to trade makes the economy more efficient, something that helps both workers and consumers overall.
Do you think that President Trump’s tariff policies have contributed to the increased trade deficit? Or do you think that the higher trade deficit shows that the president needs to be tougher on America’s trading partners?