October marked the highest U.S. trade deficit since the Great Recession, as record imports widened the gap between American goods sold and foreign goods purchased, according to the Commerce Department.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that the deficit for the month was $55 billion — “the fifth straight increase and highest since October 2008.”
The politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 7.1% to a record $43.1 billion. The goods gap with the European Union widened 65.5% to a record $17.6 billion.
Led by shipments of medicine and cars, overall imports rose 0.2% to a record $266.5 billion. Exports fell 0.1% to $211 billion.
President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to slash America’s longstanding trade deficit with the rest of the world. Despite his import taxes on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods, the deficit so far this year is running 11.4% above January-October 2017.