By Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist
The United States has now run an annual trade deficit for 40 years in a row.
Last year was no exception, and in 2015 the U.S. had over $1.5 trillion in exports while importing $2.2 trillion of goods. The resulting trade deficit was -$735 billion.
Today’s map from HowMuch.net, a cost information site, helps put this most recent information into perspective. Keep in mind that a trade deficit also means an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets, as the U.S. is spending more money abroad than it is bringing in.
Here’s where that currency went:
(largest negative trade balances)
- China: -$365.7 billion
- Germany: -$74.2 billion
- Japan: -$68.6 billion
- Mexico: -$58.4 billion
- Ireland: -$30.4 billion
China alone represents about 50% of the total trade deficit. In comparison, Europe only adds up to 23% of the overall negative balance.
The United States also has smaller, positive trade balances with some nations.
Here they are:
- Hong Kong: $30.5 billion
- Netherlands: $24.0 billion
- Belgium: $14.6 billion
- Australia: $14.2 billion
- Singapore: $10.4 billion
Even if the U.S. multiplied its largest positive trade balance (Hong Kong) by a factor of 12x, it would only just then be enough to even out the deficit with China.
Courtesy of Visual Capitalist © 2016