News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Triumph for Trump: US trade deficit with China drops 13% in Dec. 2017; US exports to China surge 7.5% to record high in Dec. 2017; imports from China fall 7.6% in Dec. 2017-Reuters, Commerce Dept. 2/6/18...(Reuters waits til 23rd paragraph to report good news of Dec. 2017 drop in China trade deficit and surge of US exports)

"Exports to China surged 7.5 percent to a record high in December. As a result, the U.S.-China trade deficit declined 13 percent in December." (Last sentence of article, 23rd paragraph--you cannot make this up. The article was about December 2017 numbers reported today 2/6/18). 

2/6/18, "U.S. trade deficit rises to nine-year high on robust imports," Reuters, Lucia Mutikani, David Lawder

"The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in December to its highest level since 2008, as robust domestic demand pushed imports to a record high, adding to the stiff headwinds faced by the Trump administration’s “America First” trade policies

The import-driven surge in the trade gap reported by the Commerce Department on Tuesday also suggests 3 percent annual economic growth may be hard to achieve. Imports, which subtract from gross domestic product, could get a further boost from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package that became effective in January....

[paragraph 7] The politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit jumped 8.1 percent to a record $375.2 billion last year. President Donald Trump has vowed to shrink the trade gap by shutting out more unfairly traded imports and renegotiating free trade agreements.... 

Many American factory workers bought into the promise of the president’s trade policy reforms, but they are still waiting for results,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing....

The Trump administration believes a smaller trade deficit, together with deep tax cuts, could boost annual economic growth to 3 percent on a sustained basis. Late in January, Trump imposed broad tariffs on imported solar panels and large washing machines, and is considering slapping tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum for national security reasons. 

Such actions may prove politically popular with Trump’s working-class supporters, particularly in states hard-hit by factory closures and import competition. But economists say they would likely do little to change the growth trajectory of the overall trade deficit, which is tied more to macroeconomic factors....

[paragraph 19] Imports from China fell 7.6 percent in December. There were also declines in goods imported from Canada and Mexico, the United States’ major trading partners.

[paragraph 20] Exports of goods increased 2.5 percent to $137.5 billion in December, the highest level since October 2014. Exports of capital goods hit a record high, lifted by civilian aircraft and industrial machines. 

[paragraph 21] There were also gains in exports of industrial supplies and materials. Petroleum exports increased to their highest level since August 2014. 

Exports are being boosted by a strengthening global economy. A weakening dollar is also making American-made goods more competitive on the international market. 

[paragraph 23] Exports to China surged 7.5 percent to a record high in December. As a result, the U.S.-China trade deficit declined 13 percent in December." (end of article) 

Comment: Reuters was apparently so upset about the Dec. 2017 positive China trade news for Trump that they saved it until the very last sentence of the article. In the important first paragraph, Reuters informs readers of sad news of "stiff headwinds faced by the Trump administration’s “America First” trade policies.

Reuters took additional trouble to change the thesis of their article without explanation in the 7th paragraph. Instead of reporting Dec. 2017 trade results about China announced today (the reason for the article), they decide to report results for the entire year 2017, during which China deficit "jumped to a record high." Trump wasn't even on the job for the entire year. In the tapestry woven by Reuters, readers have no choice but to believe Trump is a failure on US-China trade. Reuters expands its "Trump is a failure" narrative by including select quotes they've miraculously found agreeing that Trump's had no results (one of which I included above). "Reaction" quotes all appear before the good news of paragraph 23.

Reuters includes no quotes or reactions to the good news in paragraph 23.


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