The massive trade deficit between the United States and other nations plunged to the lowest level in seven months in recent weeks; shrinking 2.1% towards the end of April.
According to Market Watch, the US trade gap “tumbled to a seven-month low” heading into the second quarter of 2018, hitting approximately $46.2 billion after being revised downward from $47.2 billion.
Economists credit the decline to higher than expected American exports which “edged up” to a record breaking $211.2 billion, with oil products, soybeans, and corn leading the charge.
“Exports to Mexico also hit an all-time high, but the U.S. trade gap is still larger at this point in the year than it was in the first four months of 2017,” writes Market Watch. “Exports of commercial aircraft fell sharply in April, but it’s a volatile category that jumps around from month to month.”
While the data release by the Commerce Department was compiled before a recent round of tariffs against the United States -mostly by Mexico and Canada- it remains unclear how those taxes will impact US exports.
Read the full report here.
TRADE WAR? Mexico Targets TRUMP Districts With New Tariffs
Officials in Mexico announced a new series of tariffs specifically targeting districts won by President Trump in the 2016 race for the White House; unveiling the taxes after the Commander-in-Chief imposed a 25% tariff on Mexican and Canadian produced steel and aluminum.
“Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the tit-for-tat measures would complicate talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that underpins trade between the neighbors,” reports Reuters.
“A trade war is when there is an escalation of conflict. In this case, it is simply a response to a first action,” Guajardo told Mexican radio. “We should stick to the clearly defined battlefield, where the response is appropriate and proportional.”
President Trump announced the expanded trade tariffs Thursday, saying both Mexico and Canada had failed to make trade concessions requested by his administration ahead of future negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
BEIJING BLINKS: China Says it 'WILL NOT FIGHT' Trade War with Trump
Chinese officials confirmed over the weekend that Beijing has no interest in fighting a “trade war” with the United States; saying both nations have reached a “consensus” after President Trump announced stiff economic sanctions earlier this year.
According to Yahoo News, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the leading negotiator in trade talks between Beijing and Washington, told reporters Sunday that his nation “will not fight a trade war” against the United States.
“The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other,” said He.
“At the same time it must be realized that unfreezing the ice cannot be done in a day, solving the structural problems of the economic and trade relations between the two countries will take time,” he added.
President Trump stunned Chinese officials earlier this year when he announced over $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese-produced goods; sparking speculation Beijing would retaliate by imposing harsh taxes on American products.