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5 Oct, 2021 14:00

US trade deficit reaches record $73.3bn amid ongoing spat with China

US trade deficit reaches record $73.3bn amid ongoing spat with China

The US trade imbalance in August rose to an all-time high, having widened by another $3 billion, or 4.2%, as relatively insignificant gains in exports were swamped by a much larger growth in imports.

The trade deficit, which amounted to $73.3 billion, topped the previous record of $73.2 billion set in June, according to a report released by the US Department of Commerce. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the trade gap to widen to $70.5 billion.

Exports rose 0.5% to $213.7 billion, reflecting revived overseas demand after economies reopened following Covid-related lockdowns. Meanwhile, imports, even with all the supply chain problems at ports, increased by 1.4% to $287 billion.

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Trade imbalance with China, which is seen as a politically sensitive issue, surged 10.8% to $31.7 billion.

Earlier this week, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the White House is planning to launch new trade talks with Beijing. However, the current US administration doesn’t plan to lift the Trump-era tariffs, as Washington is pushing China to fulfill its previous pledge to buy more US goods and services.

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