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    US Trade Balance Hits $57.6 Bln in February, Highest in Nearly 10 Years

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The monthly US deficit in trade of goods and services totaled $57.6 billion in February, the highest level since July 2008, the Department of Commerce said in a press release on Thursday.

    "The US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $57.6 billion in February, up $0.9 billion from $56.7 billion in January, revised," the release said. Both agencies are part of the Commerce Department.

    February’s total was the highest since a $66.8 billion monthly shortfall in July 2008, according to historical data published by the Census Bureau.

    READ MORE: China Initiates WTO Dispute Over US Steel Tariffs — Commerce Ministry

    President Donald Trump considers trade deficits a sign of US economic weakness and has vowed to reduce the red ink by renegotiating existing free-trade agreements and by aggressively enforcing US trade laws.

    Following US President Donald Trump’s announcement in March to impose tariffs on Chinese products valued at $50-60 billion, on Tuesday, the Office of the US Trade Representative announced that the United States will tax 1,300 Chinese products sold on the US market, including products from China's aerospace and information technology sectors. Less than 24 hours later, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce threatened retaliatory economic measures.

    In March, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose a 25-percent import tax on steel and 10-percent duties on aluminum. The new tariffs are to be in place for an indefinite period of time, but the European Union and six other US allies — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea — were given a temporary exemption until May 1.


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