Trade Cases

USW: Another Accomplishment for Trump—Higher Deficit

Written by Sandy Williams

The United Steelworkers challenged the president to reduce the trade deficit after Commerce released its deficit report today.

The Department of Commerce reported that for 2017, the goods and services deficit increased $61.2 billion, or 12.1 percent, from 2016. Exports increased $121.2 billion or 5.5 percent and imports increased $182.5 billion or 6.7 percent.

Specifically in regards to China, the deficit increased $28.2 billion to $375.2 billion in 2017. Exports increased $14.8 billion to $130.4 billion and imports increased $43.0 billion to $505.6 billion

United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement this morning in response:

“President Trump can add another record-setting number to his list of accomplishments – highest trade deficit with China during his first year.           

“As a candidate, the president promised to reduce the trade deficit, end China’s cheating, stop unfair trade in steel and aluminum, and reverse the tide of lost jobs due to trade. Despite many promises, workers are still waiting for a new approach.

“The president’s Department of Commerce released data on last year’s trade deficit that shows an increase in the goods deficit of roughly $60 billion for his first year.

“Steel imports surged more than 20 percent and aluminum by more than 30 percent last year.

“The stock market is tumbling, but the trade deficit is rising. That is bad news for hard working Americans whose retirement accounts and jobs are threatened.”

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul agreed that the deficit must be addressed. His statement follows::

“I share President Donald Trump’s disdain for trade deficits. I can’t imagine the record goods deficit with China in 2017 is anything he’ll be crowing about. But he can and certainly should do something about it.

“The president should start by taking action to defend American steel and aluminum makers and workers from imports that are harming our national security. The Section 232 actions should be implemented sooner rather than later. He can follow that up by imposing penalties on China for its gargantuan intellectual property rights theft by completing the Section 301 case. He can conclude by renegotiating trade agreements in a manner that will reduce our trade deficits with NAFTA partners and South Korea in particular.

“While much of the economy is growing, trade-impacted sectors like steel face enormous challenges.”

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