Cross-Border Trade Dives: Imports and Exports Each Decline 2.2 Percent


The overall picture is one of weakening trade. Year-over-year, the trade deficit is up 2.0%. Trump won't be pleased.

The Census Bureau's International Trade Report shows the trade deficit shrunk by 2.1% in April but that is the result of a trade deficit revised higher in March. Overall, cross-border trade continues a decline.

Exports, Imports, and Balance

  • April exports were $206.8 billion, $4.6 billion less than March exports. April imports were $257.6 billion, $5.7 billion less than March imports.
  • The April decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $1.0 billion to $71.7 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.1 billion to $20.9 billion.
  • Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $4.1 billion, or 2.0 percent, from the same period in 2018. Exports increased $8.3 billion or 1.0 percent. Imports increased $12.4 billion or 1.2 percent.

Three-Month Moving Averages

  • The average goods and services deficit decreased $0.6 billion to $50.9 billion for the three months ending in April.
  • Average exports decreased $0.2 billion to $209.3 billion in April.
  • Average imports decreased $0.8 billion to $260.2 billion in April.

Trump Will Howl

The trade picture is weakening even as year-to-date trade deficits expand.

Trade in Goods

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Trade in Goods and Services

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Even if one mistakenly belies that trade deficits represent a huge problem, Trump's trade war with Canada is preposterous. The US has a goods and services trade surplus with Canada for at least 3 years running.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (4)
No. 1-3

Two years ago President Trump invited all the corporate worthies to the White House. He told them to move their manufacturing home to USA or there wold be hell to pay. Moving an auto plant only takes two years. So pay up. It's tariff and trustbuster time for the meat heads at Ford, GM, Apple, Facebook. The border invasion is an excellent political fig leaf. The fact is these tariffs are punitive and they are never going away until manufacturing relocates. President Trump is the most transparent negotiator in history. Do what he says or he'll bust your chops.


Almost everything that Trump has sold under his own brand name was manufactured overseas. Too bad he doesn't practice what he preaches.

As far as Trumps negotiating skills go, I agree with Mish. He is a piss-poor negotiator. He railed against NAFTA as the worst trade deal ever, then negotiated essentially the same deal and called it the greatest ever. What a loser.


Tariffs are the perfect regressive tax. Create jobs. Reward American wealth producers. Punish the welfare crowd.

Global Economics