America’s Trade Deficit With the EU Reaches Record $178 Billion

(Bloomberg) --

The European Union’s trade surplus with the U.S. just hit a record high in 2019, a milestone the bloc probably doesn’t want noticed too widely in Washington given upcoming talks with an American president who’s intent on fixing economic imbalances.

The U.S. deficit in goods trade with the EU last year rose to $178 billion from $169 billion a year earlier, according to Commerce Department figures released Wednesday. A decade ago, the U.S. shortfall with the EU was about $61 billion.

America’s Trade Deficit With the EU Reaches Record $178 Billion

Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese imports last year in an effort to pressure Beijing to do a trade deal aimed at narrowing the trade imbalance between the world’s two largest economies.

Today’s figures indicated that the tariffs probably helped. The U.S.’s trade gap with China narrowed by almost $74 billion in 2019 to $346 billion.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night in Washington, Trump said his strategy with China “has worked.” He has also in recent weeks called the EU worse than China when it comes to their trading relationship as the two sides jockey for position before trying to restart trade talks this year.

Still there are other gaping imbalances with the U.S., like the deficit with Mexico that ballooned 26% to $102 billion, also the country’s highest on record.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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