U.S. Trade Deficit Rises Despite Trump’s Tariffs

AFP | Donald Trump arrived in Buenos Aires late Thursday for the G20 meeting and crunch trade talks with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

The monthly goods deficit grew by $1 billion in October, according to a US Census report released Wednesday.

Trump on Thursday also reiterated that USA tariffs were generating tax revenues: "What we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of taxes", he said. It put a 10% tax on goods ranging from luggage to bikes and baseball gloves. A 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of those goods is due to rise to 25 percent on January 1.

The duties make it more expensive for USA importers to buy those items, but Americans bought more goods from overseas in October than they did the month before.

Additional tariffs on auto imports from China would affect any cars produced in China.

China, while it has imposed retaliatory tariffs of its own on more than US$100b of United States imports, has made some concessions by opening segments of its economy to greater foreign investment and promising wider liberalisation.

A Reuters poll yesterday showed China's factories likely struggled to grow for a second straight month in November as cooling demand at home and the threat of higher USA tariffs stifled new orders.

Trump wants the European Union and Japan to buy more American-made vehicles. A decade on, that unity has all but vanished as the "America First" Mr Trump shreds the consensus underpinning global trade and other G20 countries such as Brazil, Italy and Mexico turn to populist leaders.

He also threatened tariffs on $267bn of other Chinese exports to the US.

"I happen to be a tariff person because I'm a smart person, OK?" he told the Wall Street Journal.

As President Donald Trump prepares to sit down with China's President Xi this weekend, Trump said Thursday that the administration is "very close" to reaching a deal to end the trade showdown between the two major economies even as he also sought to downplay the importance of making such a deal.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin", he tweeted.

The US stockmarket shivered and fell when the Trump interview was published but recovered some ground on Tuesday after National Economic Council director, Larry Kudlow, while expressing some scepticism that the meeting would produce an agreement, said Trump remained open to a breakthrough and believed a deal could be made. Trump has accused China of unfair trade practices and stealing of intellectual properties.

Mr Macron initially tried to befriend Mr Trump despite their deep differences, but the two have increasingly clashed, most recently over wine tariffs, Mr Trump's nationalism and Mr Macron's idea of a European army.

"The Chinese side has repeatedly stressed that the essence of Sino-US economic and trade cooperation is about mutual benefit and win-win", Mr Gao said.

"But I think doing it in a multilateral way would have been a better approach", she said. In securities filings, Apple has said that "international trade disputes could result in tariffs and other protectionist measures that could adversely affect" its business.

Trump thinks his tariffs are paid by exporters, but they are ultimately a tax on U.S. consumers and shareholders.

Trump boasted Wednesday on Twitter that Steel Dynamics, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., was opening a new plant in the Southwest, creating 600 jobs.

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