The U.S. trade deficit rose in March to $27.6 billion, as the global recession further weakened sales of American exports, according to a Commerce Department report.
The March trade deficit was 5.5 percent higher than February’s $26.1 billion trade gap, but lower than the $29 billion deficit economists had predicted, the Associated Press reported.
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Exports of U.S. goods and services fell 2.4 percent in March to $123.6 billion, the lowest level since August 2006. Sales of civilian aircraft, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, and domestic autos and auto parts faced the steepest drops.
Imports, led by declines in industrial machinery, fell 1 percent to $151.2 billion, the lowest level since September 2004.
The U.S. trade deficit with China also rose 10 percent in March to $15.6 billion. Because of the large trade gap with China, U.S. lawmakers want to crackdown on unfair trade practices and weak manufacturing regulations in the country that have resulted in a flood of cheap goods into the U.S. and the loss of American manufacturing jobs.
But China has hardly been untouched by the global recession, reporting recently that its global export sales fell 22.6 percent from this time last year, said the AP.
The Obama administration plans to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss trade and other issues this summer in Washington.
Economists don’t expect a rebound in trade anytime soon, the AP reported, with the U.S. recession expected to last until the second half of this year and the economic slump in many other nations expected to drag into 2010.
This article was submitted by Katie Kapler, Director of Online Strategy for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with financing options and advice to grow their business. Send all questions to email@example.com.