The annual trade data out of the December trade report has some shocking results. The 2011 trade deficit increased 11.6% from 2010. As a percentage of GDP the trade deficit is returning to pre-recession levels. The trade deficit is now 3.7% of U.S. GDP, up from 3.4% in 2010. The worst was 2006, when the soaring out of balance, trade deficit was 5.6% of GDP. Below is a graph of the U.S. trade deficit as a percentage of U.S. annual nominal GDP.
The December 2011 U.S. trade deficit increased $1.74 billion to $48.8 billion in a month. This is a 3.7% deficit increase from last month in the trade deficit. November's trade deficit was revised down by $694 million. December exports increased $1.23 billion, or -0.69%, while imports increased $2.97 billion, or +1.32%.
The November 2011 U.S. trade deficit jumped $4.48 billion to $47.8 billion in a month. This is a 10.36% deficit increase from last month in the trade deficit. October's trade deficit was revised down slightly by $195 million. Exports decreased -$1.54 billion, or -0.86%, while imports increased $2.95 billion, or +1.32%.
Once again the Obama administration refuses to label China a currency manipulator. This is when the U.S.-China trade deficit looks on target to hit $300 billion and China just slapped the United States with a unjustified 22% additional tariff on American SUVs.
In the U.S. Treasury's Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, team Geithner and the Obama administration literally refuse to label China a currency manipulator in spite of overwhelming evidence.
The Report highlights the need for greater exchange rate flexibility, most notably by China, but also in other major economies. Based on the ongoing appreciation of the RMB against the dollar since June 2010, the decline in China's current account surplus, and China's official commitments at the G-20, APEC, and the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) that it will move more rapidly toward exchange rate flexibility, Treasury has concluded that the standards identified in Section 3004 of the Act during the period covered in this Report have not been met with respect to China. Nonetheless, the movement of the RMB to date is insufficient. Treasury will closely monitor the pace of RMB appreciation and press for policy changes that yield greater exchange rate flexibility, a level playing field, and a sustained shift to domestic demand-led growth.
China just slapped a huge 22% tariff on some U.S. auto imports. Reuters:
China will impose punitive duties of up to 22 percent on large cars and SUVs exported from the United States, China's Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of trade disputes between the world's two largest economies.
Why? Because China wants to develop it's own domestic luxury SUV industry. China already imposes an outrageous 25% tariff on U.S. truck imports. This makes the total tariffs on SUVs 47%!
What this really means is GM and other SUV U.S. manufacturers will move production offshore....to China. In other words, to sell SUVs, trucks in China, this outrageous tariff will force U.S. manufacturers to offshore outsource even more jobs simply to continue selling their products in that country and gain access to China's markets.
China's claim the U.S. is dumping SUVs in China is absolutely pure fiction. As it is, a 25% tariff on trucks is obscene considering China is killing this country with imports and the second largest economy in the world.
The September 2011 U.S. trade deficit decreased $1.81 billion to $43.11 billion. This is 4.03% drop from last month in the trade deficit. August's trade deficit was revised down from $45.61 billion to $49.92 billion. Exports increased $2.5 billion, or 1.41%, while imports increased $688 million, or 0.31%.
The July 2011 U.S. trade deficit decreased $6.8 billion to $44.8 billion. This is a 13.11% monthly decrease in the trade deficit. Exports increased by $6.2 billion, or 3.61%, while imports decreased $0.5 billion, or 0.22%. China imports, not seasonally adjusted, increased 1.12% in July, creating a $27 billion trade deficit with China.