The U.S. has run a trade deficit (importing more goods and services from other countries than it exports) since the mid-1970s, which acts as a drag on overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth [Figure 1]. Although the trade deficit narrows during recessions, when imports typically fall faster than exports, the trade gap has increased over time, and currently stands at around 3.0% of GDP. Along with the massive budget deficit, the trade deficit is one of the major economic challenges facing the U.S. and has fostered the…

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