A new report from the Department of Commerce paints an ugly picture of Pres. Donald Trump’s trade wars. The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods hit a record high in August as told by Politico Tuesday:
The trade deficit was $67.1 billion, showing a surplus in services trade, which is the it’s been since 2006. The goods trade deficit alone was $83.9 billion, the highest ever recorded.
Put another way, higher than it was at any point during the presidency of Barack Obama.
Trump has imposed a wide range of tariffs during his term in order to shift the balance of trade. With a good number of them looking to tilt a trade deficit between the United States and China.
Yet now it appears that such a strategy is not quite having its desired effect.
As other business begin to suffer from shock waves in the system. And drive competition to find alternative sources in the supply chain.
An analysis done by the American Action Forum and published in September told Trump’s tariffs could increase nationwide consumer costs by nearly $57 billion annually. That is a problem especially today as people struggle more than ever before.
Beyond that, Pres. Trump renegotiated the former North American Free Trade Agreement signed into law by his predecessor Bill Clinton. Which Trump had dubbed the ‘worst deal’ ever. An updated pact is presently known as USMCA, United States Mexico Canada Agreement.
Plus he pulled the U.S. out of a proposed 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership. Then re-signed deals with both South Korea and Japan. Some critics allege Trump has not really accomplished much in his efforts.
In addition, the president apparently seems unclear on exactly how tariffs work. It has been reported Trump even claimed that foreign governments would pay them. When in fact business entities make payment to U.S. customs at the border.
Future trade relations with China remain uncertain. What else can be done?
This news isn’t the first time in recent days that Trump’ trade department has come under fire.
Trump’s top trade adviser is now being called on to be fired for violating the Hatch Act, a law that bans federal employees for engaging in political activity.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a formal complaint against Peter Navarro, citing him for allegedly violating the law by criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden while also discussing his work for the White House.
“By mixing official government business with political activity, Mr. Navarro impermissibly used his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” CREW alleged in their complaint to the Office of Special Counsel.
“In light of Mr. Navarro’s egregious, notorious, and ongoing violations of the Hatch Act, he should immediately resign his post. If he does not, OSC should recommend to the President that Mr. Navarro be removed from federal service, and the President should do so.”
CREW claims Navarro violated the Hatch Act over 20 times through media appearances and tweets from a now-deleted Twitter account by criticizing Joe Biden, while also discussing his official work the Trump administration.
Navarro discussed administration trade policy in numerous TV appearances, while also accusing Biden of driving manufacturing jobs to China.
Navarro also criticized the way that the Obama administration’s responded to the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and said Joe Biden was “compromised” and “can be bought” by the Chinese government.