US trade deficit narrows in March

US trade deficit edges lower in March

NAFTA which was signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico removed most trade and tariff barriers between the neighbors, but Trump and other critics have blamed it for deep USA job cuts.

With imports and exports both falling, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that the USA trade deficit was little changed in the month of March.

The shortfall followed a revised deficit of $1.1 billion for February compared with an initial reading of a deficit of $972 million for the month. Imports of services decreased less than $0.1 billion to $43.0 billion in March.

Exports of energy products gained 7.0 per cent to $8.7 billion, while consumer goods were up 6.8 per cent to $6.1 billion.

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Export Development Canada says rising commodity prices will fuel export growth.

As a result Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from Can$4.5 billion in February to Can$4.0 billion in March.

The Trump administration is looking at trade as it seeks to boost annual economic growth to 4 percent.

Going forward, the recent momentum in exports should continue, as the Canadian dollar remains under pressure - the loonie fell below 73 United States cents this week for the first time in over a year - and economic activity in the U.S.is set to pick up after a slow start to the year.

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Imports from the US - Canada's largest trading partner, by far - were up two per cent, while exports to the US edged down a fraction of a percentage point. -China trade deficit increased 7.0 percent to $24.6 billion in March. Exports of services increased $0.3 billion to $64.7 billion. Last week's (preliminary) announcement that Canadian softwood lumber exports will be hit with a hefty tariff shows that the new President intends to make good on his promise to ensure fair trade for America.

Trade figures also carry political implications as President Donald Trump seeks to revamp US trade deals with other countries.

The rise in exports was widespread, led by energy, consumer goods and metal and non-metallic mineral products which were all up by 7% during the month.

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