WASHINGTON (AP) — Record imports drove the U.S. trade deficit up for the third straight month in August. The deficit in the trade of goods with China and Mexico hit records.
The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade gap — the difference between what America sells and what it buys abroad — rose to $53.2 billion in August from $50 billion in July. The August reading was the highest since February.
Imports rose 0.6 percent to a record $262.7 billion on higher shipments of cellphones and autos; exports slid 0.8 percent to $209.4 billion.
The U.S. ran a $76.7 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as machinery and cars. That gap was partially offset by a $23.5 billion surplus in the trade of services such as banking and tourism.
President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to bring down U.S. trade deficits and has slapped taxes on imported steel, aluminum and on many Chinese products, drawing retaliatory tariffs from U.S. trading partners.
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