The deficit of US trade of jumped to a five-month high in May as imports of goods multiplied, supposed as trading replenished ahead of an increment in tariffs on Chinese merchandise, diminishing a great rise in exports.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit streamed 8.4% to $55.5 billion. Data for April was revamped higher to present the trade gap widening to $55.5 billion instead of the earlier reported $54.0 billion in May.
The goods trade shortfall with China, a focus of President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda, escalated 12.2% to $30.2 billion, with imports escalating 12.8%. Trump recently heightened additional import tariffs on Chinese goods, triggering Beijing to counterattack.
Last week the US President and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a trade ceasefire and a return to discussions. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said the discussions were leading in the right direction, but it would take time for getting the right deal made.
The US-China trade suspense has triggered random swings in the trade deficit, with exporters and importers attempting to stay ahead of the tariff fight between the two economic giants.
In May, goods imports escalated 4.0% to $217.0 billion. Imports of customer goods rose $1.4 billion, while those of motor vehicle and parts mounted $2.3 billion to a record high. There were also big rises in imports of capital goods and industrial supplies and materials.