Trump’s trade war has blown up in his face — according to data from his own Commerce Department

President Donald Trump has pursued an aggressively isolationist trade policy since taking office, imposing tariffs on U.S. rivals and trading partners alike with the intent of boosting the sale of American made goods.

But according to Politico, a new report from the Department of Commerce reveals just out utterly Trump’s plan has failed.

“The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods hit a record high in August, despite President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign promises to reduce it dramatically by negotiating new trade deals and getting tough on unfair foreign trade practices, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday,” reported Doug Palmer. “The overall trade deficit was $67.1 billion, reflecting a surplus in services trade with the rest of world — the highest since 2006. The deficit for U.S. goods trade by itself was $83.9 billion, the highest ever recorded.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Tariffs can increase demand for specific goods and services, but often have downstream effects that hurt other American businesses at least as much as the businesses targeted for help. Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel, for instance, were a benefit to U.S. production of steel, but caused job losses in industries that use it. One nail manufacturer in Missouri faced steep job losses until the government exempted it from the tariffs.

Trump has repeatedly shown confusion about how trade and tariffs even work, suggesting that foreign governments are paying them, and that Mexico can use its trade surplus with the United States to pay for a border wall — neither of which make any sense.

Enjoy good journalism?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has cut advertising rates in half, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Value Raw Story?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has cut advertising rates in half, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].