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April's Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficit Was $40.9 Billion

Sunday, 07 June 2015 00:00 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis
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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the April goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $40.9 billion, down from an enormouser, humongouser $51.4 billion in March. (March was revised to $50.6 billion in today’s report.)

  • The monthly U.S. goods deficit with China dropped from $38.9 billion in March to $27.5 billion in April. However the deficit is up $12.4 billion year-to-date compared to 2014.
  • Our goods deficit with Japan was $6.7 billion in April and is up over $1.5 billion year-to-date compared to 2014.
  • The U.S. goods deficit with South Korea was $2.1 billon in April, up nearly $3 billion this year.

Trade Deficit Is Enormous, Humongous Drain On Our Economy

While April’s enormous, humongous $40.9 billion trade deficit is lower than March’s even more enormous, humongous $50.6 billion, this is still an enormous, humongous drain on the U.S. economy.

Imagine $40.9 billion of orders coming in right now to companies that make and do things inside the U.S. And then another $40 billion or so of new orders next month. And on like that every month. Think about the factories opening, the hiring, the ripple effect as people receiving paychecks buy clothes, cars, and other goods. Wages would be forced up. The economy would boom. That is what we are losing because of this enormous, humongous trade deficit.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, issued this statement:

“The monthly decline in the trade deficit masks an uncomfortable truth: Global industrial overcapacity, an overly strong dollar, and unfair trade practices are contributing to a surge in our 2015 trade deficit. All the year-to-date numbers are headed in the wrong direction, and they help to explain the sudden drop in manufacturing hiring so far this year.

“Underinvestment in domestic infrastructure and research, combined with a flood of manufacturing imports, are stifling manufacturing’s comeback. Our workers and businesses are doing all that they can to be globally competitive, but Washington stands in the way. Passing a robust and long-term infrastructure plan, boosting trade enforcement efforts, and penalizing currency manipulation are essential ingredients in a true manufacturing resurgence. ”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


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April's Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficit Was $40.9 Billion

Sunday, 07 June 2015 00:00 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the April goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $40.9 billion, down from an enormouser, humongouser $51.4 billion in March. (March was revised to $50.6 billion in today’s report.)

  • The monthly U.S. goods deficit with China dropped from $38.9 billion in March to $27.5 billion in April. However the deficit is up $12.4 billion year-to-date compared to 2014.
  • Our goods deficit with Japan was $6.7 billion in April and is up over $1.5 billion year-to-date compared to 2014.
  • The U.S. goods deficit with South Korea was $2.1 billon in April, up nearly $3 billion this year.

Trade Deficit Is Enormous, Humongous Drain On Our Economy

While April’s enormous, humongous $40.9 billion trade deficit is lower than March’s even more enormous, humongous $50.6 billion, this is still an enormous, humongous drain on the U.S. economy.

Imagine $40.9 billion of orders coming in right now to companies that make and do things inside the U.S. And then another $40 billion or so of new orders next month. And on like that every month. Think about the factories opening, the hiring, the ripple effect as people receiving paychecks buy clothes, cars, and other goods. Wages would be forced up. The economy would boom. That is what we are losing because of this enormous, humongous trade deficit.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, issued this statement:

“The monthly decline in the trade deficit masks an uncomfortable truth: Global industrial overcapacity, an overly strong dollar, and unfair trade practices are contributing to a surge in our 2015 trade deficit. All the year-to-date numbers are headed in the wrong direction, and they help to explain the sudden drop in manufacturing hiring so far this year.

“Underinvestment in domestic infrastructure and research, combined with a flood of manufacturing imports, are stifling manufacturing’s comeback. Our workers and businesses are doing all that they can to be globally competitive, but Washington stands in the way. Passing a robust and long-term infrastructure plan, boosting trade enforcement efforts, and penalizing currency manipulation are essential ingredients in a true manufacturing resurgence. ”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


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