Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce today released data on U.S. international trade in goods and services through May 2009. The report indicated that the U.S. goods and services trade deficit fell to $26 billion in May, its lowest level in a decade. Exports of goods and services rose by 1.6% from April to May, however, for the first 5 months of 2009 remain nearly 19% lower than in the corresponding period of 2008. This decline reflects reduced demand in foreign markets for U.S. products, due to the global recession. The decline in U.S. imports, at over 28% for this year's first five months, was even greater than the drop in exports. The import decrease reflects both recession in the U.S. economy and sharply lower petroleum import prices so far this year, compared to last. The goods and services trade deficit through May 2009, on a balance-of-payments basis, has been cut slightly more than in half, compared to the first 5 months of 2008.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk issued the following statement on today's report:
"In the midst of financial uncertainty, it is critical that we increase exports of American goods and services to the world, which would help create more jobs for the American people.
"At this week's G8 Summit, President Obama and fellow world leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to keep global trade flowing and to reject protectionist policies.
"Under President Obama's leadership, USTR is working to open new markets to American goods and services, and to ensure that our trading partners play by the rules. We will also work to fulfill President Obama's commitment to reach a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda."