07 March 2019

A Record High

Arguably more than 99 percent of economists will tell you there's nothing wrong when a large, strong economy experiences regular trade deficits. Mostly fringe economists on the far right who don't hold distinguished positions will say that trade deficits are bad.

In case you don't know, a trade deficit means a country spends more on imports than it makes in exports. Many economists say that's even good because it strengthens the country's currency position internationally.

Way out there in the fringe, Donald Trump thinks trade deficits are bad but can't explain why. So he decided that he'd start a trade war with various countries -- including some of America's closest allies, all in hopes it would make the trade deficit decline.

Turns out, the exact opposite has occurred (details here). Trump's Commerce Department announced the trade deficit in 2018 reached an all-time high -- $891 billion for merchandise and $621 billion more when the service sector is added. The trade deficit with China is also at a record high.

If Trump was a doctor worried about a patient's heath, his "solution" just made the patient sicker.

Had he left the markets alone and never started a trade war, the trade deficit would now be lower.

Look up the word "incompetent" in the dictionary and you'll see Trump's picture.

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