Despite President Trump's goal of reducing the U.S. trade deficit, the trade imbalance between exports and imports reached an all-time high of $891 billion, Fortune reports.
The trade deficit with China in particular was alarming given the Trump administration's tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign imports, reaching a record-high $419 billion. The Commerce Department report released Wednesday also revealed that the overall deficit factoring in both goods and services skyrocketed 19% between November and December 2018, from $50.3 billion to $59.8 billion. The final month’s deficit is the largest monthly deficit in the past decade.
The findings show that Trump's attempt to put "America First" through his economic policies to narrow the trade deficit hasn’t been going as planned. Americans are still importing much more than they are selling overseas. While exports only grew by 6.3 percent, imports increased by 7.5 percent.
Even more disheartening, Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut implemented in late 2017 forced the federal government to borrow money from foreign investors, further fueling the deficit. The Federal Reserve also increased interest rates four times last year in fear of a potentially overinflated economy, thus increasing the strength of the dollar and relatively decreasing the price of foreign goods.