WASHINGTONThe annual U.S. international trade deficit fell by about $20 billion in 2012, but the trade deficit with China increased by that amount, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Trade figures for 2012 showed the annual trade deficit in goods and services stood at $540.4 billion for the year, compared with $559.9 billion in 2011, the bureau said. Lower petroleum imports were largely responsible for the decrease, it said.
But the trade deficit with China exceeded $315 billion in 2012an all-time recordup from $295.4 billion in 2011.
Manufacturing trade also reached an all-time record deficit in 2012, reaching $684.5 billion, up nearly 7 percent from 2011.
Today's data show that the major reindustrialization so urgently needed by the U.S. economy will require major policy changes, especially on the trade front, not the wishful in-shoring thinking emanating from the White House, said Alan Tonelson, senior research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council.
The new figures, Mr. Tonelson said, make clear that the U.S. economy remains stuck in the dangerous trap of relying on spending, borrowing, deficits and debt creation to produce any significant growth or job creation.