The U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world shrank by 2.3 percent in May to a total of $46.51 billion as American exports increased, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Imports declined slightly by 0.1 percent from April to May, and exports rose 0.4 percent according to Department of Commerce data, WSJ reports.
The U.S. still has sizable deficits with Latin American countries, but the disparity between how much Americans import from Europe and China and how much it exports is shrinking.
The trade deficit with Mexico, which Trump has called “unbelievably bad,” grew slightly between January and May over the same period in 2016. The adjusted trade deficit for the first five months of 2017 is about $30 billion, compared to $26 billion in 2016.
“The fact is that the United States has trade deficits with many, many countries, and we cannot allow that to continue,” Trump said at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in June 30.
The U.S. has run trade deficits with other countries for decades because Americans consume more goods than they produce. To truly shrink the trade deficit, the U.S. would have to produce a more, or consume less.
The current fall in the trade deficit is partially due to growth of other countries. “Exports have shown greater strength this year, in part reflecting a pickup in global growth,” Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in May.
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