Record imports push US trade gap to $53.2 billion in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Record imports drove the U.S. trade deficit up for the third straight month in August. The politically sensitive deficits in the trade of goods with China and Mexico hit records.

The Commerce Department says the trade gap — the difference between what America sells and what it buys abroad — rose to $53.2 billion in August from $50 billion in July. The August reading was the highest since February.

Imports rose 0.6 percent to a record $262.7 billion. Exports slid 0.8 percent to $209.4 billion.

President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to bring down U.S. trade deficits and has slapped taxes on imported steel, aluminum and on many Chinese products.

But the sanctions have yet to have an impact on the deficit, which is up 8.6 percent this year.

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