US trade deficit rises to over 9-year high in January

US trade deficit increased to the highest level in more than nine years in January, suggesting the Donald Trump administration's America First trade policy was unlikely to close the trade gap.

The US exports fell 1.3 percent from December on a seasonally adjusted pace to 200.9 billion US dollars in January, while the imports remained unchanged at 257.5 billion dollars in the month, said the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

This left a deficit of 56.6 billion dollars in the month, rising for five consecutive months and hitting the highest level since October 2008.

Deficit in trade of goods with China increased 1.5 billion dollars to 35.5 billion dollars in January.

US President Trump has said that trade deficit reduction was one of the priorities for the administration's trade policy.

Last week, he announced plan to impose 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum to protect domestic industries.

The protectionist measures have sparked widespread oppositions from US domestic business groups and trade partners, who are arguing that the actions would hurt both the US and global economies, and undermine global trade system.


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