In the 2000s, the United States accumulated an astounding aggregate negative $5.5 trillion trade balance in goods and services with the rest of the world.

While the U.S. has been running a trade deficit in manufacturing for more than three decades, it grew considerably worse after 2000. In the 2000s, the United States accumulated an astounding aggregate negative $5.5 trillion trade balance in goods and services with the rest of the world. In no year in that decade did the United States have a negative global trade balance of better than negative $360 billion; and in five of those years the annual trade deficit topped $600 billion. To put this in perspective, during each of those five years on average, every American household imported $5,450 in goods and services that was not matched by equivalent exports.