The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced this morning that the November trade deficit rose to -$47.8 billion, its worst level since June, as imports rose by nearly $3 billion and exports fell by $1.5 billion. (Click here for the report.)
The trade deficit with Germany rose to just below the record level set in October of 2005. The 2o11 trade deficit with China is only $1 billion below the record set in 2010, and that’s with a full month to go in 2011. The only question is whether the trade deficit with China will top $300 billion.
The U.S. trade deficit continued its slow but steady worsening since President Obama, in January of 2005, set a goal of doubling exports in five years. Here’s the chart: Balance of Trade
Exports failed to meet the president’s goal for the fourth straight month although, until November, exports tracked very closely to the president’s goal. But, in November, exports lagged the president’s goal by over $7 billion, by far the worst lag since the goal was set. Here’s the chart: Obamas Goal to Double Exports
But the real goal, of course, is to double exports of manufactured products, since that’s where the real opportunities for job creation lie. Here the news is even worse. Exports of manufactured products lagged the president’s goal for the seventh consecutive month, by more than $10 billion. Here’s the chart: Manf’d Goods Balance. As you can see, exports of manufactured products have fallen completely off the track for attaining the president’s goal.
No surprise. The president has done absolutely nothing to stem the tide of imports and bring American manufacturing jobs home. Contrary to his promise to rewrite NAFTA to correct the trade problems with Mexico, he’s done absolutely nothing except turn tail and run as soon as Mexico was angered by the suggestion. Contrary to his promise to get tough with China, he’s resisted efforts by Congress to label that nation a currency manipulator, which would open the door to punitive tariffs. He’s done nothing but talk and put on shows like his forum this week for insourcing American jobs.
Romney has promised to slap China with the “currency manipulator” label on day one of his administration. Do I believe it would be anything more than a symbolic gesture, or that he would then actually follow through with tariffs? No. But Obama proved himself a liar when he made a similar pledge, and I’m fed up with Obama’s timidity on the trade issue. I’m thinking the time is here to give Romney a chance.