The US trade deficit rose in March as the coronavirus outbreak battered America’s trade with the world.
The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad widened 11.6 percent in March to USD 44.4 billion from USD 39.8 billion in February.
US exports fell 9.6 percent to USD 187.7 billion on plunging orders for cars, auto parts, and industrial machines. Imports fell by 6.2 percent to USD 232.2 billion.
Total trade exports plus imports came in at USD 419.9 billion in March, down 7.8 per cent from February and 11.4 per cent from March 2019.
The politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China fell 21.3 per cent to USD 15.5 billion in March as exports rose slightly and imports plummeted. The coronavirus and the lockdowns and travel restrictions meant to contain it have hammered the world economy and paralyzed global trade.
In March, the United States ran a USD 21.2 billion surplus in the trade of services such as tourism and banking. But it registered a USD 65.6 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as cars and appliances.