New trade figures from the Department of Commerce show the U.S. international trade picture continues to deteriorate. The U.S. trade deficit in June hit $43.6 billion, almost the same as the June level last year of $43.8 billion. But for the first half of this year, at $276.6 billion, the trade deficit is 10.7% worse than the year-ago figure. We are now on track for an annual trade deficit this year of some $550 billion, which would be the highest deficit since 2008. That’s some 2.8% of our GDP, a substantial contractionary force in the economy. If that spending were going towards U.S. goods and services instead of foreign goods and services, it would create more revenue, more jobs, more profit, and more investment inside the U.S. instead of overseas.
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