The Commerce Department reported that the July deficit, the gap between what America buys and what it sells to foreigners, was 18.9% higher than the June deficit of $53.5 billion. It was the largest monthly deficit since July 2008 during the 2007-2009 recession.
The July deficit increase was driven by a record 10.9% increase in imports which rose to $231.7 billion. Exports were also up but by a smaller 8.1% to $168.1 billion.
When Donald Trump campaigned for president in 2016 he pledged to sharply lower the country’s large trade deficits, especially with China, which for years has been the country with the largest trade surplus with the United States.
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