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Two-Minute Take: The Trade Deficit

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Learn more about Matthew Rooney.
Matthew Rooney
Director, Outreach and Strategic Partnerships
George W. Bush Institute

Recent headlines have stated that the U.S. trade deficit soared to a record high last year. What does this actually mean?

The U.S. trade deficit increased 27% last year to an all-time high of $859.1 billion, but what do these numbers mean? Matthew Rooney, Managing Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, explains why we may be looking at the trade deficit entirely wrong. 

Rooney explains that the trade deficit and employment numbers are frequently misunderstood. A trade deficit means money is flowing into the country and an indicator of national success. He states that we should start thinking of the trade balance as positive engagement in the world. 

The Bush Institute releases a yearly global scorecard tracking trade competitiveness among regions and countries. Take a look at how North America and the U.S. compares to other regions and countries in the world.