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Date: Tuesday September 19, 2006 11:07:00 am | Views: 95
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    Trade Deficit Hits $68 Billion Record in July
    (Sept. 06) – The U.S. trade deficit hit a record $68 billion in July as
    surging global oil prices pushed America’s foreign oil bill to the
    highest level in history.

    Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the July deficit jumped 5
    percent from the June imbalance. Analysts had expected the deficit to
    worsen slightly, but the overall imbalance was worse than expected and
    surpassed the old monthly record of $66.6 billion set last October.So
    far this year, the deficit is running at an annual rate of $776
    billion, putting the country on course to rack up a record annual
    deficit for the fifth straight year. Democrats, campaigning for control
    of Congress in the November elections, hope voters will view the
    soaring trade deficits as evidence that President Bush’s trade policies
    are not working.For July, U.S. exports, after setting a string of
    records, edged down 1.1 percent to $120 billion – still the second
    highest level in history. Sales of American jetliners, computers and
    food products all slipped.Imports rose to a record high of $188
    billion, an increase of 1 percent from the June level. America’s
    foreign oil bill climbed 4.8 percent to an all-time high of $28.5
    billion, reflecting record oil prices in July.The politically sensitive
    deficit with China did decline slightly in July to $19.6 billion but is
    still on track to far exceed last year’s $202 billion deficit, the
    highest ever recorded with a single country.Treasury Secretary Henry
    Paulson will leave later this week for an Asian trip that will take him
    to China for his first meetings with Chinese economic officials since
    he joined the Bush’s Cabinet in July.The administration is pushing
    China to move more quickly to allow its currency to rise in value
    against the dollar as a way to narrow the yawning trade gap by making
    American exports cheaper in China and Chinese goods more expensive for
    U.S. consumers.

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