Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services soared again in April, up 16.8 percent, as both imports and exports saw historic declines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to trade statistics released June 4 by the Department of Commerce, the monthly trade deficit of $49.4 billion reflected record-high declines of 20.5 percent in exports to $151.3 billion and 13.7 percent in imports to $200.7 billion. Import and export totals were both the lowest in nearly ten years. DOC states that the deficit was down 13.4 percent from April 2019 as exports fell 9.5 percent and imports plummeted 10.2 percent.

The deficit in goods trade rose 8.9 percent in April to $71.8 billion. Imports of goods were down 13.6 percent to $167.4 billion, including decreases of $6.9 billion in passenger cars, $4.1 billion in automotive parts and accessories, $1.4 billion in semiconductors, $1.2 billion in pharmaceutical preparations, and $1.1 billion in cotton apparel and household goods. Exports of goods fell 25.2 percent to $$95.5 billion, including decreases of $2.6 billion in automotive parts and accessories, $2.4 billion in passenger cars, $2.2 billion in civilian aircraft engines, $2.1 billion in civilian aircraft, and $2.0 billion in crude oil.

The services surplus was down 5.5 percent to $22.4 billion, with imports down 14.0 percent to $33.3 billion and exports down 10.7 percent to $55.8 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$26.0 billion

+67.7

 

 

European Union

$14.3 billion

-15.4

   

Germany

$4.0 billion

-33.3

   

Japan

$3.6 billion

-21.7

   

Mexico

$3.3 billion

-63.3

   

South Korea

$2.3 billion

+21.1

   

Taiwan

$2.2 billion

+10.0

   

Italy

$2.0 billion

-28.6

   

India

$1.9 billion

+11.8

   

France

$1.4 billion

+100.0

   

Singapore

$1.1 billion

n/a

   

Canada

$0.4 billion

-84.6

   

United Kingdom

$0.4 billion

Change from $0.1 billion surplus

   

South/Central America

   

$2.9 billion

-42.0

Brazil

   

$0.8 billion

-42.9

Saudi Arabia

   

$0.3 billion

0

Hong Kong

   

<$0.1 billion

-94.7

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