The latest monthly U.S. trade figures were released this morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce:
- In January, the U.S. international goods and services deficit rose to $44.4 billion, up from $38.1 billion in December (revised).
- The U.S. goods deficit with China rose to $27.8 billion in January, up from $24.5 billion in December.
- The U.S. goods deficit with Japan also increased, to $6.1 billion in January, up from $5.7 billion in December.
Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
“It’s important to remember with all this boosterism for exports that net exports matter more and are a part of GDP. We’re headed in the wrong direction.
“The rising trade deficit with China is not a good sign for reshoring of manufacturing jobs.”
AAM recently released a “Blueprint for Manufacturing” that includes a focus on trade policy. Specifically, the plan addresses China’s undervalued currency, urges strong enforcement of U.S. trade laws, and presses for currency measures ahead of any potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Some key recommendations in the plan:
- Keep our Trade Laws Strong and Strictly Enforced. We should refocus the trade agenda by giving American businesses new tools to counter currency manipulation, industrial subsidies, intellectual property theft, and barriers to market access by our trading partners.
- Combat Currency Manipulation. The president should convene a multilateral meeting to address global imbalances and, in particular, China’s mercantilism. He should ensure that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership includes measures to prohibit trade-distorting currency manipulation and the market-distorting impacts of state-owned enterprises. China ships more than a quarter of its exports to the U.S. and finances less than 10 percent of our public debt, so we have more leverage than some might suggest. If China does not agree to participate, they should be designated as a currency manipulator.
- Reduce the Trade Deficit. As the Administration works to double American exports, we should ensure that trade deficit reduction receives a high priority. Lowering the trade deficit and creating manufacturing jobs will have a positive impact on federal revenues and will reduce the federal budget.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers to explore common solutions to challenging public policy topics such as job creation, infrastructure investment, international trade, and global competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.americanmanufacturing.org.