The United States’ trade deficit with China is as small as it’s been in recent months. U.S. exports hit a five-month high, which Bloomberg says is a possible sign of goodwill from China as the two nations continue to try and resolve their trade war. According to data released late last week by the Commerce Department, the trade gap shrank to a seasonally adjusted $28.9 billion.
Exports increased by $10 billion while imports dropped slightly to $38.9 billion. Even with the new numbers, imports and exports with China have declined significantly since the trade war began in 2018. China is now the third-largest U.S. trading partner this year, behind Mexico and Canada, after it was number one in 2018. So far this year, the U.S. merchandise deficit with China narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $238.4 billion over the first eight months of this year, compared to $270.1 billion through the same period in 2018.
Since the end of August, the trade war has continued to escalate as additional duties went into effect on September 1. Others are set to rise or take effect on October 15 and December 15. Chinese officials are scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., for more trade talks this week.