Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services soared 18.9 percent in July to the biggest monthly total in 12 years. Imports and exports both increased for the second straight month but the total volume of U.S. trade remained below pre-pandemic levels as many businesses continued to operate at limited capacity or ceased operations completely and the movement of travelers across borders remained restricted.

According to trade statistics released Sept. 3 by the Department of Commerce, the monthly trade deficit of $63.6 billion reflected an 8.1 percent increase in exports to $168.1 billion and a record 10.9 percent rise in imports to $231.7 billion. The year-to-date deficit increased 1.8 percent from July 2019 as exports fell 17.5 percent and imports were down 13.8 percent.

The deficit in goods trade jumped 13.0 percent from June to July to an all-time high of $80.9 billion. Imports of goods were up 12.3 percent to $196.4 billion, including increases of $3.7 billion in passenger cars, $2.5 billion in auto parts and accessories, and $1.7 billion each in civilian aircraft and cell phones and other household goods. Exports of goods were up 11.9 percent to $115.5 billion, including increases of $2.1 billion in passenger cars, $1.1 billion in crude oil, and $800 million in semiconductors.

The services surplus slipped 4.4 percent to $17.4 billion, the lowest total in eight years, as imports rose 3.5 percent to $35.3 billion and exports edged up 0.8 percent to $52.6 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$28.3 billion

+6.0

   

European Union

$13.1 billion

0

   

Mexico

$11.5 billion

+27.8

   

Japan

$3.4 billion

+88.9

 

 

Germany

$3.0 billion

-21.1

   

Taiwan

$2.8 billion

+16.7

   

France

$2.5 billion

+150

 

 

India

$2.0 billion

+17.6

 

 

Italy

$1.8 billion

-14.3

   

South Korea

$1.5 billion

-26.7

   

Singapore

$1.0 billion

+400

   

Canada

$0.5 billion

+400

   

South/Central America

   

$2.9 billion

+61.1

Hong Kong

 

 

$1.4 billion

+40.0

Brazil

 

 

$0.8 billion

+100

United Kingdom

 

 

$0.6 billion

-53.8

Saudi Arabia

 

 

$0.3 billion

Change from $0.7 billion deficit

 

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