Relaxing Over Trade Deficits


The U.S. trade deficit has (again) hit a record high. ($42.5 billion for December.) Yes, American citizens and companies continue to buy lots of things from overseas, with little concern for how much those people overseas are buying from us. (Contemplate your trade deficit with your grocer, and feel your blood boil!) Cato Institute trade analyst Daniel Griswold did a good job in this paper from 1998 explaining the reasons why trade deficits ought not be much of a concern, whether or not you believe people ought to be able to buy and sell from and to whom they please.