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US Trade Falls to a Deficit with Canada, Exports to China Increase

US Trade Falls to a Deficit with Canada, Exports to China Increase

Thomas Westwater, Analyst

US Trade Balance Talking Points:

  • The balance of trade with Canada fell from a surplus of $0.5 billion to a deficit of $2.1 billion in March
  • Exports decreased by $0.1 billion to $25.3 billion, while imports increase to $27.5 billion after a $2.6 billion increase
  • The NAFTA replacement awaits ratification in the US with some political opposition mounting in recent months

US trade balance data was released this morning from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, to show that the United States went from a trade surplus with Canada in February to a deficit in March. Auto imports from Canada increased from $4.6 billion to $5.2 billion this month with passenger cars, trucks, buses, and parts all increasing. Exports to Canada also increased from $5.07 billion to $5.9 billion. The demand for autos could be a positive sign for the economy going into the spring and summer seasons.

The US Dollar saw modest gains on the release of the US trade data against most major currencies and the Dollar printing up to 1.3505 before pulling back against the Canadian Dollar. Equity markets are deep in the red however, but the trade data is not the sole factor investors are eyeing, with the US-China trade deadline at the forefront of investor concern.

  • USDCAD Price Chart: 5 – Minute Time Frame (May 8 – May 9)

The trade balance with Canada, China, Mexico and other important trade partners to the United States has been a closely watched metric in the face of President Trump’s escalating trade rhetoric since being elected. President Trump seems to disfavor having trade deficits with partners, however all attention has been on China recently, with increased rhetoric from both sides, which have brought volatility back into financial markets.

The trade deficit with China decreased $1.9 billion to $28.3 billion in March, exports increased $1.4 billion to $10.5 billion and imports decreased $0.5 billion to $38.8 billion. This brings the US trade deficit with China to a five year low, which will come as welcome news to the Trump administration which has sought to reduce the deficit with China, however market participants are weary to put any hope on a trade deal happening soon.

--Written by Thomas Westwater, Intern Analyst for

Contact and follow Thomas on Twitter @FxWestwater

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