US Trade Deficit Hit New High in March

May 5, 2021

US Commerce Department reported the March deficit was 5.6% higher than the February gap of $70.5 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit hit a monthly record of $74.4 billion in March, as the improving U.S. economy boosted the purchase of foreign goods.

The March deficit was 5.6% higher than the February gap of $70.5 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The trade deficit — the difference between what the U.S. buys overseas and what it sells to other countries — is a continual factor in the American economy, the world’s largest, despite the urging of politicians, including President Joe Biden, to buy American-made goods.

In March, imports rose 6.3% to $274.5 billion while exports increased 6.6% to $200 billion, the government said. As usual, the deficit with China was the largest for any single country, up 11.6% to $27.7 billion.

Last year, the U.S. trade deficit rose 17.7% to $679 billion, the highest since 2008, as the coronavirus disrupted global commerce.

Former president Donald Trump sought to narrow the trade gap by imposing taxes on imported goods. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in 2019 but then ballooned in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic sharply curbed exports.

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