The United States has run a pretty massive trade deficit for years now, importing $US730 billion more in goods than it exported last year. More trade is generally good, but higher imports mean GDP takes a hit.
The interesting part, as Seth Kadish at the blog Vizual Statistix finds, is that there are about as many countries that are net exporters to as those we import more from. But because we import such an incredible amount from a select few countries, we end up with a massive deficit overall.
The gap with China in particular is shocking — that $US315 billion trade deficit is more than all of the United States’ trade surpluses combined, and is almost half of the total negative balance.
And even though energy imports are down, we still run massive deficits with Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Here’s Kadish’s map of our balance of trade with the countries of the world in 2012. All of the countries are colour coded, but only the top 5 biggest deficits and surpluses are labelled: