The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in December as exports rose to their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years, outpacing an increase in imports. Fred katayama reports.
The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in December. Exports rose to their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years, outpacing an increase in imports. U.S. companies shipped a record number of advanced technology goods in industries like aerospace, biotechnology, and electronics. Charles Schwab's Omar Aguilar says the outlook for exporters will depend on the direction of the dollar: (SOUNDBITE) OMAR AGUILAR, CIO, CHARLES SCHWAB, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think the dollar will play a big role this year, and into next year. And we have seen this strength of the dollar, you know, for the last few years, I think, as you mentioned, it peaked early this year, and since then, it has reduced its value. A lot of strength in the economy should be good for the dollar, which has natural implications for exporters." Another big factor influencing American trade - U.S. President Donald Trump. He has blamed U.S. policy for the loss of jobs in the country. He pulled the U.S. out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and is getting ready to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. But economists, who spoke to Reuters, do not believe these protectionist measures will eliminate the deficit.