IN THE NEWS: Coming to America

More travel to America would lower our trade and budget deficits.

The trade deficit expanded in 2018 to its highest level in at least a decade, even though candidate Donald Trump promised to dramatically narrow the gap. A big reason for that $878 billion deficit is the health of the U.S. economy. Consumers are flush with cash, and they’re spending it. The trade deficit always goes up when the economy is strong and plummets when the economy sinks, as it did during both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession of 2008–09.

Still, the near-trillion-dollar trade deficit is a black eye for Trump, and there are some important steps he could take to bring it down. One is to get the trade deal done with China to level the playing field and expand American markets to the billion-plus Chinese.

While Trump policies have given a big boost to manufacturers and the construction industry, perhaps it’s time to tout another critical but underappreciated export industry: travel and tourism.

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