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Statement from Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on International Trade in Goods and Services in October 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today on the release of the October 2012 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (PDF) by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. In October 2012, imports of goods and services declined 2.1 percent from September to reach $222.8 billion, and exports of goods and services reached $180.5 billion, down 3.6 percent over this period. As a result, the October 2012 international trade deficit increased to $42.2 billion from September, which was better than market expectations. Year-over-year exports in the month of October 2012 also outperformed October of the prior year with a $1.8 billion increase in exports and a $3.5 billion improvement in the total trade deficit. Moreover, U.S. merchandise exports to China, Mexico and Brazil were at record levels in October, and the merchandise trade surplus with South and Central America was the highest on record.

“Although more work remains, we are making progress toward achieving President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Despite global economic headwinds, October exports of $180.5 billion were still among the highest monthly export levels on record, and we continue to be on track to exceed last year’s record export total of $2.1 trillion,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “We must continue to take steps to strengthen the economy and create jobs, including extending income tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.”

Fact sheet (PDF)