Posted at 10:06 AM
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the March 2016 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services monthly data. The total trade deficit improved 13.9 percent in March, to $40.4 billion, driven by a $6.0 billion reduction in the goods trade deficit. In addition, new monthly export records were established in travel services -- $15.5 billion – and in insurance services -- $1.6 billion. U.S. exports of goods and services decreased to $176.6 billion in March from $178.2 billion in February.
“Today’s data indicated encouraging signs of improvement in our trade balance through the first quarter of 2016,” said Secretary Pritzker. “However, U.S. exporters continue to battle economic headwinds that have hindered trade across the globe. That is why President Obama and our entire Administration continue to push for 21st-century trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will ensure that U.S. businesses have greater access to even more fast-growing foreign markets around the world and can compete fairly against foreign competition. It is critical that this agreement enters into force as quickly as possible so that U.S. exports can continue to drive economic growth and job creation around the country.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a transformational 21st-century trade agreement with 11 other countries bordering the Pacific, home to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Combined, the current TPP members represent nearly 40 percent of the global GDP. TPP levels the playing field for American workers and American businesses, supporting more Made-in-America exports and higher-paying American jobs. A report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics shows that if TPP is delayed by just one year, the United States will see an estimated one-time national loss of $94 billion. That translates to a loss of $700 on average for every U.S. household.
The TPP will foster the type of economic integration that currently enhances trade with our free trade agreement (FTA) partners. Since 2009, U.S. goods exports to FTA partners have grown faster (53 percent) than our exports to the rest of the world (34 percent).