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The Treasury Department plans to borrow $2.9 trillion from April through June to cover the government's response to the virus outbreak, which brought the nation's economy to a near standstill in mid-March. By comparison, the agency borrowed $1.28 trillion in 2019.
The national debt, which measures what the U.S. owes its creditors, is about $25 trillion. To fund the deficit, or the difference between what it collects in revenue and what it spends, the federal government issues Treasury notes and bonds.
Foreign countries own about $6.8 trillion, or roughly 27 percent, of the nation's debt. The remaining 70 percent is owned by domestic government, institutions investors and the Federal Reserve.
These five foreign countries are the biggest holders of U.S. debt, according to Treasury Department data from mid-May.
- Japan: $1.271 trillion
- China: $1.08 trillion
- United Kingdom: $395.3 billion
- Ireland: $271.5 billion
- Brazil: $264.4 billion