- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -
Does the United States Really Have a Trade Deficit?
Posted By Bryan Riley On March 18, 2013 @ 2:00 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled
In 2012, $3.4 trillion came into the United States through trade and investment, and $3.4 trillion left, according to  the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Every dollar Americans sent to people in other countries was balanced by a dollar sent back to the United States: 64 cents for U.S. exports, 22 cents for payments to U.S. investors, 11 cents for investment in U.S. assets, and 3 cents on other transactions.
There was no deficit.
So why do critics complain about the trade deficit? The reason is that they only look at dollars spent on things like shoes, and not dollars spent on things like factories . Based on transactions in T-shirts, the U.S. has a deficit. Based on investment income, the U.S. has a surplus. Add up all the individual deficits and surpluses, and they balance out.
Even if the U.S. did have a trade deficit, it wouldn’t matter, since there is no evidence  that trade deficits are bad for the economy. All that really matters is protecting people  from special-interest trade barriers that drive up prices and make Americans poorer.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/18/does-the-united-states-really-have-a-trade-deficit/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/CargoShip_130308.jpg
 according to: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/transactions/transnewsrelease.htm
 factories: http://www.airbus.com/company/americas/us/alabama/
 no evidence: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/08/reporters-tell-the-truth-a-trade-deficit-is-not-bad/
 protecting people: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/28/chart-of-the-week-major-benefits-of-free-trade/
Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.