October 24, 2013: The trade deficit basically holds steady

Posted by mmcmullan on 10/24/2013

Good morning,

The government has released some more numbers for you to chew on, this time in the form of monthly trade data. So: How are we doing? How much are we putting out and taking in?

Same old, same old. In August, the overall deficit ticked up to $38.8 billion, which is just a teensy bit more than the $38.6 billion deficit the American economy ran in the previous month. As for our perennial trade deficit with China? It improved, barely:

Elsewhere around the web:

Wal-Mart will open 110 new stores in China this year in response to the changing retail landscape in the country, reports Matthew Miller for Reuters. The U.S. company will close underperforming stores and remodel others as part of their continued expansion in China. Here’s a meta question for you: If Walmart is expanding in China, does that mean its Chinese supercenters will be flooded by a wave of American imports, thereby displacing thousands of Chinese jobs? Eh, probably not.

The Obama administration’s trade rep acknowledged this week that work remains to be done on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, specifically in motor vehicles. William Mauldin of the Wall Street Journal writes that American lawmakers and businesses still got beef:

Besides the traditional trade issues, some U.S. lawmakers say Japan’s monetary policy is targeting a weaker yen, a shift that makes Japanese cars more competitive in the U.S. and hurts Detroit along the way. The lawmakers want the TPP to address the issue of currency manipulation and have discussed their concerns with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

Above context/hyperlink added.

And don’t forget:

There’s more to the monthly jobs report than just numbers. There are people behind the data, and their stories deserve to be heard. Do you have one to tell? Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in your jobs report to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the ever-updating report right here.

Happy Thursday, America!


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