The U.S. trade deficit for goods hit a record high in 2018, but critics wrongly blame this on a failure of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.
Gross domestic product growth of 3 percent in 2018, coupled with a rapid rise in real wages and the lowest unemployment in 50 years, boosted import demand even as slower growth in markets like Europe suppressed U.S. exports. The robust Trump economy is one of the deficit’s biggest drivers.
Meanwhile, Trump trade policies have raised billions of dollars in revenue, encouraged the onshoring of new factories, helped create nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs, and induced a strong revival of our steel and aluminum industries.The president’s tough trade agenda has also helped bring recalcitrant trading partners to the negotiating table. The newly negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will dramatically boost investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector and likely shrink our deficit with Mexico — which is why Congress must quickly approve it
The Trump trade team is likewise negotiating dramatic structural changes to China’s mercantilist economy. Proposed reforms include an immediate end to China’s cyber intrusions into our business networks, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, unfair currency practices and excessive subsidies for state-owned enterprises.