As a presidential candidate and throughout his 18-plus months in office, President Donald Trump has committed his administration to reducing the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services. According to the administration, the trade deficit is evidence that the U.S. is “losing” in international trade and could hinder growth in U.S. gross domestic product; however, there is no evidence to suggest it is a drag on the U.S. economy. Economists do not unanimously agree that a reduction in the deficit will lead to economic growth and job creation.
The existence of a trade deficit is not evidence of bad trade agreements, unfair trade practices or a lack of American competitiveness. It is an accounting of the billions of transactions by individuals and businesses across the globe competing to improve their profitability and economic wellbeing. That’s capitalism, and that’s the American way.