The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in February as exports increased to a two-year high and slowing domestic demand weighed on imports.
The narrowing in the trade gap comes as the Trump administration is pushing ahead with its agenda for fair trade and bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States as it seeks to boost economic growth.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade deficit declined 9.6 percent to $43.6 billion. January’s trade shortfall was revised slightly down to $48.2 billion from $48.5 billion. The politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit dropped 26.6 percent to $23.0 billion in February.
The decline in the U.S.-China trade deficit comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit later this week. President Donald Trump has declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation.
“The U.S has its work cut out for it if it is going to try to alter the pattern of trade that has developed between China and U.S. companies over the last 10 to 20 years,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.