The annual U.S trade deficit reached a record high in 2018, despite President Trump’s efforts to reduce foreign purchases and steer consumers toward American-made products.
The deficit, which is the difference between the value of goods and services imported and exported by the U.S. rose $68.8 billion from 2017 to $621 billion in 2018, according to Commerce Department data released on Wednesday.
The monthly trade deficit for December 2018 rose to $59.8 billion, the widest gap for any month since October 2008.
President Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese exports, while Beijing has responded with levies on U.S. crops and livestock. Even so, the U.S. trade deficit with China increased to $419 billion in 2018, while exports decreased by $9.6 billion to $120.3 billion and imports increased by $34.0 billion to $539.5 billion.