WT. Trade deficit in 2004: $618 billion.
Despite a substantially weaker dollar, which makes U.S. products
cheaper overseas, a deficit emerged for the first time in farm goods
after 50 years of surpluses, according to yesterday’s Commerce
Department trade report. The U.S. edge in advanced technology products
disappeared two years ago, and analysts forecast that at the current
rate, many remaining U.S. strong points in trade — including banking
and legal services — also soon will be toppled and succumb to the
burgeoning deficit. [John Robb’s Weblog]
These are not good signs. Note especially the first-in-50-years farm
goods deficit, which will play topsy with the long standing US strategy
of exporting topsoil for foreign oil.