Despite all his bluster, the “Trump Trade Deficit” widened to a new record in the third quarter of 2019. The non-oil merchandise trade deficit hit $1.047 trillion in the third quarter of 2019, in 2012 dollars (annual rate). That’s according to PPI calculations based on new data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on November 27. The latest trade deficit beat the previous record set in the fourth quarter of 2018, also under Trump.
These widening trade deficits claw right at the heart of the middle of the country, where farmers and factory workers are suffering under Trump’s misguided policies. Factory closings just keep coming: Sparta, Wisconsin; Atlanta, Ga; West Plains, Missouri.
Trump’s trade failures give progressive presidential candidates an opportunity to run a pro-manufacturing, pro-growth campaign. They should be advocating policies that jumpstart a new generation of manufacturing entrepreneurs across the country. They should support local distributed manufacturing, which both creates jobs and helps the environment. Most of all, progressives should come out squarely in favor of a Production Economy that supports America’s core values as a producer rather than a consumer.