US trade deficit drops 15%

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Washington, May 4 (IANS) The US trade deficit fell to a seasonally adjusted $49 billion in March, down 15 per cent from a month earlier and a six-month low, the Department of Commerce said on Thursday.

In March, exports rose 2 per cent to a record $208.5 billion, while imports dropped 1.8 per cent to $257.5 billion.

The government’s figures closely matched analysts’ expectations and represented the largest one-month decline in the trade deficit in two years, Efe reported.

The trade deficit with China, as President Donald Trump says has benefited from bad US trade policy, fell 11 per cent to $25.9 billion in March.

Trump announced new tariffs in March of up to 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum imports, and he later granted temporary exemptions to close trade partners, such as Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and the EU.

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During the first quarter of the year, nevertheless, the US trade deficit grew 18 per cent from the same period in 2017, with exports rising 6.8 per cent and imports increasing 9.1 per cent.

–IANS

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