The U.S. trade balance hit a deficit of $63.6 billion in July. That is a deficit of $10 billion more than it was in June and the largest monthly deficit we’ve seen since July 2008.
This new increase in the trade deficit comes even amid President Trump’s trade war with China hundreds of billions of dollars of imposed tariffs on imports from China, Europe and other countries. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement also took effect this year.
According to Lori Wallach, the director of liberal think tank Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the increase that occurred between July 2016 and July 2020 is “especially notable given the drop in trade flows related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She added, “Comparing the trade flows in the first seven months of 2019 to the same period in 2020, U.S. trade has decreased 15%.”
The first seven months of 2020 saw a $340 billion trade deficit – that’s 12.2% higher than the deficit over the exact same time period in 2016.
The monthly numbers are higher too, with the trade deficit with China coming in at $3 billion more on the month at $31.6 billion. The deficit with Europe increased to $23.1 billion, that’s up $3 billion from the prior month.
One thing was smaller- the surplus in services trade in July 2020 was the smallest it had been since August 2012, $17.4 billion.