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U.S. trade deficit widens for 4th straight month, despite tariffs

By Nicholas Sakelaris
A commercial container ship heads to a row of dockside gantry cranes in Dalian, a major Chinese port city in Liaoning Province. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c30fb9993b859494f1e1515706f194a6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A commercial container ship heads to a row of dockside gantry cranes in Dalian, a major Chinese port city in Liaoning Province. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. trade deficit increased by another $1 billion last month, despite efforts by the Trump administration to narrow the gap using tariffs, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Exports increased 1.8 percent to $140.9 billion from August to September and imports jumped 1.5 percent to $217 billion, the Census Bureau said. That puts the trade deficit at $76 billion.

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Since last year, exports have increased more than $10 billion, but imports climbed more than $20 billion.

September marked the fourth straight month the trade deficit has grown.

The United States is in a trade war with China, as both countries have imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on their respective imports.

The report said the greatest change was seen with foods, feeds and beverage exports, which declined nearly 9 percent from August to September. The biggest losses came from soy bean exports, which fell 95 percent. Oil exports to China fell to zero, just two months after setting a $1 billion record.

U.S. vehicle exports to China fell nearly $600 million from the previous August.

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The overall trade deficit with China, specifically, has increased.

Beijing's counter tariffs affect states where automobiles are manufactured, soybeans are grown and oil is extracted. That means key states where Trump won in the 2016 election, like South Carolina, Iowa and Texas, are disproportionately affected.

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