Total U.S. exports lagged the president’s goal (of doubling exports within five years, a goal set in January, 2010) for the 16th consecutive month in November. The shortfall was $29.8 billion, just shy of the record of $30.5 billion set two months earlier. Here’s a chart of total exports vs. imports vs. the president’s goal: Obamas Goal to Double Exports.
Exports of manufactured goods failed to keep pace with the president’s goal for the 14th consecutive month. In this category, the shortfall was $19.7 billion, only a slight improvement from the record of $20.1 billion set the previous month. Here’s a chart of manufactured exports vs. imports vs. the president’s goal: Manf’d exports vs. goal.
While exports were relatively flat in November, increasing only $1.74 billion, imports spiked by $8.4 billion, sending the U.S. trade deficit sharply higher in November, rising to $48.7 billion in November from $42.1 billion a month earlier. Here’s a chart of the total balance of trade: Balance of Trade.
The balance of trade in manufactured goods hit its worst level since President Obama set that goal of doubling exports. The deficit in manufactured goods jumped to $44.0 billion in November. Here’s a chart of the balance of trade in manufactured goods: Manf’d Goods Balance of Trade.
In November of 2009, deep in the near-depression following the global financial collapse (catalyzed by huge global trade imbalances), the Obama administration told the Chinese,
“That (exporting large amounts of goods to the United States) is not a sustainable model and we have been very clear to the Chinese government about that, that recovery would require different models, different steps by both sides.”
That was in November, 2009, when China’s exports to the U.S. were $27.5 billion. What’s happened since? In November 2012, Chinese exports to the U.S. were $39.5 billion, just shy of the record of $40.3 billion set in October.
President Obama knew very well then, as he does now, that our only hope for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. was to rebalance global trade. Instead of acting, he’s done absolutely nothing. We need look no further than the president’s inaction on trade for the reason why the U.S. remains stuck in the “new normal” of high unemployment and falling incomes.