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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in October 2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 9, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson issued the following statement today on the release of the October 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in October 2011 decreased 0.8 percent from September 2011 to $179.2 billion, with this month’s exports of capital goods ($42.3 billion) the highest on record. U.S. imports of goods and services also decreased by 1.0 percent to reach $222.6 billion, causing the U.S. trade deficit to improve by 1.6 percent to reach $43.5 billion in October 2011, the lowest monthly deficit level in 2011.

U.S. goods and services exports in the first 10 months of 2011 are up 15.5 percent or $234.7 billion from the same period of 2010 to reach $1.75 trillion. This consists of gains in sectors that support U.S. jobs like automotive vehicles, where U.S. exports of passenger cars have increased nearly 25 percent, or $7.7 billion, in the first 10 months of 2011.

Although our trade deficit year-to-date has increased, this increase is due entirely to our dependence on foreign oil; year-to-date, petroleum represents more than 58 percent of our total goods and services deficit. However, growth in exports, minus petroleum are actually outpacing imports in both dollar and percentage terms, meaning that our deficit in non-petroleum goods and services has improved through the first ten months of 2011 by more than $6 billion.

“We’ve seen six months of record-breaking exports growth this year. Those numbers have meant jobs for the American people and economic growth for the country. It's crucial to build on this momentum, and that means Congress must extend and expand the payroll tax cut so that 160 million hardworking Americans don’t see their taxes go up on January 1st. Failure means more Americans with less money in their pockets every month and fewer customers for businesses still recovering from the recession.”

Exports Fact Sheet (PDF)