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  • trade deficit

    Monthly Trade Statistics Report: Misleading and Dangerous

    The U.S. Commerce Department today announced that the trade deficit for April was $43.7 billion. This number is misleading because it implies a “deficit” in terms of dollars leaving the country, which is not the case. For example, the trade deficit numbers do not include the billions of dollars foreigners … More

    Trade Deficit: Made in the USA?

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis just announced that the trade deficit for March increased to $48.2 billion. The federal budget deficit plays a major role in creating U.S. trade deficits. When the government sells Treasury bonds to finance the budget deficit, it competes with U.S. exporters and private borrowers … More

    Why Do Protectionists Like High Oil Prices?

    America’s trade deficit rose in January. Many times an expanding trade deficit indicates an expanding economy and more American jobs. In January, this may not have been true. The single biggest factor in pushing the trade deficit higher in January was higher oil prices. Unfortunately, these may also push the … More

    Trade Deficit Reality Check

    Consider these recent print headlines: Economic Growth Slowed by Trade Gap; Economic Growth Cut Sharply Due to Trade Gap; and Economy Slows to 1.6 Percent as Trade Gap Widens. The people who wrote those headlines and the corresponding articles must have awfully short memories. Last year, the trade deficit fell … More

    Another Recession, Already?

    When economists forecast the economy, they tend to draw straight lines. They figure out where we are and where we’re going, and they plot a line. In fact, neither contractions nor expansions are ever smooth. For various anomalous reasons in the economy and in the data, reported GDP movements are … More

    Send Trade Critics Back to School

    Critics of free trade have used funny math to mislead Americans for decades. It may be time to send these critics back to grade school, so they can learn how to add and subtract. Consider the following interpretation of this May’s international trade statistics: “Oil and consumer goods from China … More

    U.S. Trade Deficit Improves

    On July 13, the government released international trade statistics for the first five months of the year showing a growing trade deficit—and almost no one got the story right. Here are some examples: “Trade Deficit Gets even Worse,” announced the July 13, 2010 Yahoo! Finance headline. “Trade Deficit’s Increase Seen … More

    President Obama’s Budget Is Killing Jobs

    The Obama Administration, the Democratic Congress, and their friends in organized labor are quick to blame unemployment on the trade deficit. Facts don’t support that assessment. The historical record shows a *positive* correlation between aggregate trade deficits and job creation – a trade deficit signifies *more* jobs. That’s because trade … More

    Growing Trade Deficit Good News for U.S. Economy

    New U.S. Commerce Department statistics on America’s economy highlight growth in the U.S. trade deficit of $3.2 billion dollars between October and November 2009. That’s good news for Americans. The statistics also show real GDP rising 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009, as well as growth in personal … More

    Guest Blogger: Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Free Trade Agreements

    Each day in Minnesota and all across the nation, billions of dollars worth of products begin their journey to be sold overseas. American farmers, manufacturers, and businesses rely on exports to strengthen and grow both their bottom line, as well as our economy’s. Free and fair trade agreements help spur … More