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REUTERS/Alwyn Scott

Forget what the media says. These charts show why the US trade deficit should worry you

Gwynn Guilford
Member exclusive by Gwynn Guilford

Forget the “wall”—it’s a trade statistic that Donald Trump has staked his presidency on.

“The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country. Year after year, decade after decade, trade deficit upon trade deficit,” he said in October 2017. “Under my administration, the theft of American prosperity will end.”

Give the guy points for trying. Throughout 2018, the president worked to shrink the US trade deficit by imposing tariffs on a sweeping range of goods, sparking a trade war with China, and tussling with allies over trade deals.