US trade deficit with India decreased by $1.6 billion in 2018

PTI Washington, USA Mar 07, 2019, 12.52 PM(IST)

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

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India recorded a decrease in the deficit from $22.9 billion in 2017 to $21.3 billion in 2018, according to the latest figures revealed by the Bureau of Economy Analysis on Wednesday.

The trade deficit between India and the US decreased by $1.6 billion, almost seven per cent, in 2018 as compared to the previous year, according to the latest official figures.

India recorded a decrease in the deficit from $22.9 billion in 2017 to $21.3 billion in 2018, according to the latest figures revealed by the Bureau of Economy Analysis on Wednesday.

Also read: I intend to end preferential trade status for India, Turkey, says Trump

The US trade deficit in goods and services increased by $9.5 billion from $50.3 billion in November to $59.8 billion in December, according to the figures.

For 2018, the US goods and services deficit was $621.0 billion, up $68.8 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017. Exports were $2,500.0 billion in 2018, up $148.9 billion from 2017. Imports were $3,121.0 billion, up $217.7 billion from 2017, it said.

The figures showed that the goods deficit hit $891.3 billion in 2018, the largest in US history. America's goods deficit with China hit a record $419.2 billion last year.

Opposition Democratic party were quick in criticising US President Donald Trump.

"Today's announcement that the merchandise trade deficit for 2018 topped $891 billion shows that the President has flunked the test he set for himself," said House Majority Leader Steny H Hoyer. 

Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul in a statement criticised President Donald Trump for his policies that have resulted in a record trade deficit. 

"Perhaps Donald Trump will now discover that tweets and bluster alone won't dramatically shrink the trade deficit," he said.

"The selective interventions of the administration on trade have been helpful to key sectors, but these actions haven't put a dent in the massive deficit. The administration's fiscal policies have helped to boost the trade deficit, as has its reluctance to engage more actively in exchange rate misalignment," he said.

"While the trade deficit results from many factors, the staggering sum represents lost opportunities for American workers and businesses," Paul said.
"If the president wants to back his words with actions, any trade deal with China will insist on dramatic, structural changes in Beijing's state-led economy, which have

contributed to massive industrial overcapacity in key sectors. The next few weeks of negotiations with China are critical to the future of American manufacturing. We can't afford a deal that doesn't deliver real and lasting change," Paul said.