The U.S. Commerce Department reported on April 12 that the U.S. international trade deficit for goods and services was a monthly record $61.036 billion in February, the most recent month for which data are available. The deficit was higher than both January's revised deficit of $58.504 billion and economists' expectations of a $58.3 billion deficit in February.
Including $71.173 billion worth of goods, U.S. exports totaled $100.483 billion in February. Including $135.91 billion worth of goods, U.S. imports in February totaled $161.519 billion.
U.S. imports from China fell to $16.954 billion in February from $17.864 billion in January. The U.S. trade deficit with China fell to $13.871 billion in February from $15.255 billion in January.
"These trade deficits are a rock on the back of ordinary working Americans," asserts Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business in College Park. "Without more forceful efforts from the Bush Administration to persuade China and other Asian exports to stop subsidizing their exports to the United States, U.S. workers will continue to face a tough job market and wages will continue to stagnate and fall," he predicts.