FILE - In this March 5, 2019, file photo, cargo containers are staged near cranes at the Port of Tacoma, in Tacoma, Wash. On Thursday, June 6, the Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade gap for April. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

US trade deficit shrinks to $50.8 billion in April

June 06, 2019 - 8:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit shrank in April, but the politically sensitive deficit with China moved higher.

The Commerce Department says the gap between the goods and services the U.S. buys and what it sells abroad fell 2.1% to $50.8 billion in April from March. Exports fell 2.2% to $206.8 billion. Imports dropped 2.2% to $257.6 billion.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 29.7% to $26.9 billion.

President Donald Trump has sought to reduce America's persistent trade deficit, which he sees as a sign of economic weakness. He has slapped tariffs on foreign steel, aluminum, dishwashers, solar panels and on thousands of Chinese goods.

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is running at $205.4 billion this year, up 2% from $201.3 billion in January-April 2018.

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