The U.S. trade deficit skyrocketed to a 10-year-high in October, despite millions of dollars in tariffs levied by the White House and a campaign promise from President Trump to level America’s longstanding trade deficit with the rest of the world.
On Thursday, the Commerce Department said the gap between what the U.S. buys from other countries and what it sells climbed to $55.5 billion in October, the highest increase since October 2008. The deficit between the U.S. and China rose 7.1 percent to a record $43.1 billion, while the gap with Europe widened 64.5 percent to a record $17.6 billion.
American soybean exports -- a victim of a vicious, months-long trade war between China and the U.S. that’s culminated in $250 billion of tariffs on Beijing -- dropped 46.8 percent in October. Washington has also imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from foreign countries this year.
Trump has long railed against trade deficits, and has demanded that Beijing close the gap by buying more American goods.
In a meeting at the G-20 summit in Argentina, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping said they had a “very successful” trade meeting that ended in a new trade deal. Although Chinese officials did not weigh in on the specifics of the deal, Trump tweeted on Monday that China had agreed to remove tariffs on American autos.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.