A New Record High Trade Deficit in Goods


The Advance Trade Deficit in Goods would be a new record high if the estimate holds.

Advance Trade Deficit in Goods

The Commerce Department Advance Report shows the trade deficit widened by 5.5% in November.

  • The international trade deficit was $84.8 billion in November, up $4.4 billion from $80.4 billion in October. 
  • Exports of goods for November were $127.2 billion, $1.1 billion more than October exports. 
  • Imports of goods for November were $212.0 billion, $5.5 billion more than October imports.  

Series Record High

Goods Balance of Trade and Advance Goods Balance 2020-11

Trade deficits normally shrink in recessions but not this time. $84.8 billion, if it holds, would be a new record.

The Advance Report only covers goods. The US runs a surplus in services so the combined net will be lower. 

For discussion and the latest charts on the combined deficits, please see Not Even Recession Helped the US Trade Deficit.

It's Easy!

An Amazing Deal

Using Tariffs to Pay Down Debt

So much silliness, but millions believed and still do.

Balance of Trade vs Gold Window

Balance of Trade vs Gold Window 2020-10-27

That's the real issue and tariffs can't possibly fix the problem. For discussion, please see Trump Does Not Understand Trade, Jo Jorgensen Does.


Comments (21)
No. 1-8

It is not a recession. It is a government-ordered country-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was an unprecedented measure and can't be compared to a normal recession. It is more akin to the disruption that you see when a country is invaded in a war. The economy is disrupted and disorganized. All data is going to be weird for a while until things settle down.


No kidding....how about that M1 number?

I read one pundit who thinks the mega-rich are all cashing out because they think Biden will end the capital gains tax.......which I don’t believe for a minute.


How much of that deficit in goods is attributed to basic medical apparel, masks and so forth that we had outsourced to China and other countries and which we had to buy at inflated prices?



Fred Data


It is 20 days till inauguration and I am wondering where Biden will take policy. Revert to pre-Trump China policy or keep going?

Whatever trump did to reduce the trade deficit didnt work one bit so where to from here? Reading China will be #1 economically in five years the way things are going.


The trade deficit will get a lot bigger soon. Those $600 checks should lead to an economic boom....in China.


Trump thought everything was easy. Trade wars. Trade deficit. Economic growth. Pandemic response. Wining the election. Etc.

Reality is, he f**ked up on everything. However, in his mind, he did great on all those items. Just ask him. He will tell you how great he is, and how anything that went wrong was someone else's fault. He has managed to convince himself that he is the greatest President ever, and should be on the cover of every magazine, and worshipped by all. He actually thinks that he should be added to Mount Rushmore.

The only thing he truly accomplished was convincing his Cult members that everything he did was great. They still believe him when he says he won the election, and I’m sure they believe him when he says he presided over the greatest economy in US history as they wait for their social assistance checks.

I love some of the Trump tweets you posted.

“Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 Trillion in debt that has been accumulated,” Aug 5, 2018

A little over two years later and the debt is $27.5 Trillion!

“when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

Instead, we have new record trade deficits.

I will add one more:

“My Covid response has been Total Perfection.”

There have been 20 million Americans infected, and 350 thousand have died so far. Yet Trump think’s that his Covid response was “perfect”.


His views on trade wars are a perfect illustration of his simplistic thinking.

Global Economics