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Press Release: CPA Releases Analysis of the Worst Trade Deficit Countries

January 30, 2017

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) has published an analysis of the countries with which the US has the worst trade deficits.

In 2015 the USA ran a $746 billion trade deficit in goods, seven times the 1992 level. In those 23 years, the deficit has gone from 1.5% of our GDP to 4.2%. Our overall goods deficit is driven by a handful of countries. America’s bilateral trade deficits with China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, Ireland, South Korea, and Italy totaled $682 billion last year, equivalent to nearly 91% of our global deficit.

There is little correlation between trade agreements and improved US trade performance. The US has bilateral or multilateral trade agreements with all top deficit countries. However different industries give rise to those imbalances depending upon the country. Many of these countries have export-oriented growth strategies in that they overproduce, under consume, and thus rely upon the US market for growth rather than sufficiently increasing internal consumption.

“As the Trump Administration works for a winning national trade strategy, it should analyze what factors are the most correlated with good or bad trade performance,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Trade agreements do not correlate with improved trade performance, and low wage nations do not correlate with poor trade performance. Foreign nationalistic mercantilism, with comprehensive strategies to advantage their domestic supply chains, seems to be a stronger predictor of larger bilateral trade deficits with the U.S.”


The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.

Contact: Paola Masman, Media Director 
202-688-5145 ext 2, paola@prosperousamerica.org


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