US trade deficit drops 8.2 percent

The U.S. trade deficit fell by 8.2 percent in April after reaching a record high the month before, according to data the Department of Commerce released Tuesday. 

In April, U.S. exports totaled $205 billion, compared to roughly $274 billion for imports, leaving a difference of $68.9 million. 

The agency on Tuesday also revised March data showing that the $74.4 billion trade deficit recorded in March was actually closer to $75 billion. 

The deficit drop provides indication of an improving situation for U.S. exports as the economy begins to bounce back following a prolonged period of shutdowns and drops in economic activity amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Commerce Department noted that the April boost in exports was due in part to a $1.4 billion increase in sales of civilian aircraft as more people resume air travel with a larger share of the population vaccinated and more coronavirus safety restrictions eased. 

Additionally, the agency reported a $1.1 billion decline in April in purchases of foreign-made automobiles and auto parts. 

The Tuesday report also noted that the trade deficit with China dropped $7.1 billion to $32.4 billion in April, with exports increasing by $1 billion and imports from the country decreasing by $6 billion. 

While some predict that the U.S. trade deficit will continue to drop in the coming months, others say the U.S. economy may favor products from overseas as it continues its post-pandemic recovery. 

The Biden administration has sought to ease a handful of former President Trump’s trade restrictions with the European Union and United Kingdom, but has kept in place many of Trump’s penalty tariffs imposed in an attempt to reduce U.S. trade deficits. 

However, Trump’s aggressive tactics failed to lower the deficit, with imports continuing to rise above exports throughout his administration.

Tags biden administration China-US trade war coronavirus economy coronavirus pandemic Department of Commerce Donald Trump Foreign trade of the United States trade deficit Trump Administration U.S. trade deficit

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