US trade deficit narrows less than expected to $54 billion

Finance

Shipping containers from China and other nations are unloaded at the Long Beach Port in Los Angeles, on February 16, 2019.

Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed less than expected in July as the trade war between the United States and China drags on.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said Wednesday the U.S. international trade deficit came in at $54 billion for July.  Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the deficit to narrow to $53.48 billion.

China’s deficit with the U.S. decreased by $500 million in July to $29.6 billion, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

The data comes as the U.S.-China trade war has escalated recently. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said it will be much “tougher” for China to strike a trade deal if he is reelected in 2020.

New tariffs on both U.S. and Chinese goods took effect over the weekend, dampening investor sentiment across the globe and sending U.S. stocks lower on Tuesday.

Trump has made lowering the U.S. trade deficit a priority. However, the shortfall has actually increased by 8.2% to $28.2 billion from the same period in 2018, according to the BEA.

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