President Trump is upset that the media missed this economic event:
“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo”
As the Administration mulls over possible trade actions against China, it is important to concede official trade statistics do provide in some sense a misleading picture of US-China bilateral trade — but not misleading in a way such that if corrected bolsters the Administration’s arguments.
If we count only the import side and not the export side of re-exports, as some in the Administration have suggested, we might as well go “whole hog” and redefine the trade balance completely: Let’s count imports, but not exports.
Figure 1: The trade balance defined as net exports/GDP (blue), and the trade balance excluding exports (red). Source: GDP advance release for 2016Q4, and author’s calculations.
[Correction to title: it’s been pointed out that the National Guard will not necessarily be empowered to actually deport individuals; they can only have “authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain and conduct searches”. The actual deportation (transportation to port or border) would presumably be undertaken by other agencies. MDC 2/18 10:51AM Pacific]
What are the fiscal and economic implications?
Judy Shelton argues that “Free trade needs sound money”:
…[T]he time has come to develop a comprehensive approach to international monetary reform compatible with genuine free trade under free-market conditions. If markets are to function properly, money needs to convey accurate price signals; that won’t happen as long as governments can manipulate exchange rates.
Judy Shelton on currency manipulation.