The US trade deficit reached its highest level in nine years in 2017, defying President Donald Trump’s efforts to bring more balance to America’s trade relationships.
The US Commerce Department said the trade gap in goods and services rose to $566bn (€458bn) last year, the highest since $708.7bn in 2008. Imports set a record $2.9 trillion (€2.35 trillion), swamping exports of $2.3 trillion (€1.86 trillion).
The import surge reflects America’s economic strength, with confident consumers buying more foreign products. The goods deficit with China hit a record $375.2bn (€303.7bn) in 2017. And the goods gap with Mexico rose to $71.1bn (€57.5 billion). Mr Trump has sought to reduce the deficits with China and Mexico.
The overall December trade deficit in goods and services rose to $53.1bn (€42.9bn), the highest since October 2008, from November’s $50.4 dollars (€40.8bn).