Government Report Shows Worsening Trade Performance Caused by Trade Deals: Goods Exports Fall to Lowest Level Since 2011

December 04, 2015



December 04, 2015 
Contact: Paola Masman, Media Director 
202-688-5145, paola@prosperousamerica.org

Washington ~ Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the US goods exports have fallen to a four year low. The year-to-date trade deficit has widened 5.3% over last year.

Why? We have more multi-lateral and bi-lateral trade agreements than ever before in US history.  The “export opportunities” promised by proponents of trade deals have ended up causing US goods production to decline rather than grow.  Income inequality becomes wider as a result and growth slows. 

The BEA report says this:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $43.9 billion in October, up $1.4 billion from $42.5 billion in September, revised. October exports were $184.1 billion, $2.7 billion less than September exports. October imports were $228.0 billion, $1.3 billion less than September imports. 

The October increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $2.1 billion to $63.1 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.6 billion to $19.2 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $22.2 billion, or 5.3 percent, from the same period in 2014.

Trans-Pacific Partnership proponents have now recycled the old claim that 96% of consumers live outside the US in advocating for the 5,544 page deal. We must not forget the reasons that their assertions of prosperity have proven false.

(1) most people living outside the US are not really “consumers” because of low or no purchasing power;

(2) other countries offset tariff reductions with other tactics to gain a trade advantage, including persistent currency undervaluation, increased border taxes, subsidies to state-influenced or private companies and other restrictions on US goods.

(3) the agreements open the wealthy US consumer market to foreign imports, often marketed by US companies that procure or produce offshore.

Balanced trade should be the national trade goal of the US. It is good economics and good for jobs. 

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

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