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Trade deficit rises to $54.9B in August

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, a 1.6 percent increase from July, and a spike over last year.

When compared to the same period last year, the overall trade deficit was up $28.3 billion, or 7.1 percent, as exports dropped slightly and imports spiked.

Analysts point to President Trump‘s trade war as a factor in the increased deficit, though the strong dollar and the growing budget deficit are major factors as well.

Trump has pointed to large trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness, and promised to bring them down, even though a large deficit is not necessarily a sign of a bad economy.

Chinese officials are set to arrive in Washington next week in an effort to negotiate a trade deal between the U.S. and China and scale back the trade war.  

Trump has also threatened to increase 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports by 5 percentage points on Oct. 15, just days after the negotiations.

 

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