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Trump Winning? US Trade Gap With China Tumbles To 5-Year Low

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The headline US trade balance printed in line with expectations at a $50 billion deficit, marginally ‘worse’ than the prior month’s.

Overall exports increased 1% to $212 billion, boosted by a 39% jump in soybean shipments. Imports climbed 1.1% to $262 billion on gains in oil, food, vehicles and pharmaceuticals. The overall merchandise-trade deficit widened 0.7% to $72.4 billion.

However, likely of more interest to President Trump, the trade gap with China shrank to $20.75 billion in March – the lowest since March 2014, offering the administration a chance to claim his tariff war is yielding the desired results just as negotiations reach a critical stage.

However, as Bloomberg notes, the narrower gap with China obscures a sharp drop in trade between the nations. Imports from the Asian country dropped 13.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, to $118.8 billion, while exports plunged 17.6% to $27.2 billion. For March, exports were the highest since mid-2018 while imports were the lowest since 2016.

Finally, as USMCA hits more headlines, we note that, on an unadjusted basis, the merchandise trade deficit with Mexico rose to a record $9.5 billion, while the gap with Europe increased by more than half, to $14.2 billion.


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Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge's mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information's unending quest for freedom. Visit https://www.zerohedge.com

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