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Trade Deficit Rises to $67.1 Billion in August, Highest Since 2006

Trucks offload containers from ship at the port of Los Angeles Calif., July 16, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The U.S. trade deficit rose to $67.1 billion in August, the highest level in 14 years.

The difference between the goods and services sold by U.S. firms and American consumption increased 5.9 percent in August, the widest gap since August, 2006, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The deficit is the third highest level on record.

Imports to the U.S. of foreign goods and services jumped 3.2 percent in August to $239 billion, while exports rose only 2.2 percent to $171.9 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. has accumulated a trade deficit of $421.8 billion so far this year, a 5.7 percent jump from the same months of January through August of last year.

Meanwhile, the trade deficit between the U.S. and China decreased 6.7 percent to $26.4 billion.

President Trump has long complained about China’s trade practices, accusing the country of contributing heavily to the U.S. trade deficit as well as stealing intellectual property from American companies.

The Trump administration has been entrenched in a trade battle with China since Trump took office, imposing heavy tariffs on Chinese imports and raising tariffs last year while claiming Beijing reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. China has responded by slapping tariffs on a plethora of U.S. goods.

Trump has also renegotiated a North American trade deal with an aim toward incentivizing American goods production.

As the economy fights to regain traction after the destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures, American exporters are struggling to make up for lost business.

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