Trump’s prob­lems here and abroad

From North Korea to the Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the chal­lenges per­sist

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - Don­ald Lam­bro is a syn­di­cated colum­nist and con­trib­u­tor to The Washington Times.

trade deficit fell sharply in Fe­bru­ary com­pared with the pre­vi­ous month.

The gap be­tween U.S. im­ports and ex­ports dropped to $43.6 bil­lion in Fe­bru­ary, down from $48.2 in Jan­uary.

The rea­son: U.S. prod­ucts ex­ported to our trad­ing part­ners rose be­cause their con­sumers bought more made-in-Amer­ica goods, cars and other prod­ucts.

The gov­ern­ment data re­leased this week also re­vealed the our trade deficit with China sharply de­clined to $23 bil­lion in Fe­bru­ary, as im­ports from China fell by a record $8.6 bil­lion.

The clear les­son learned here is that a stronger global econ­omy will re­sult in more sales for Amer­i­can pro­duc­ers.

But Mr. Trump faces other hur­dles in his ef­forts to lower the trade deficit even fur­ther. “De­spite vows to bring it down, it’s un­likely that the new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies will be able to al­ter the course of the trade bal­ance, which is but­tressed by the high dol­lar and com­par­a­tively strong U.S. de­mand vis-a-vis the rest of the world,” says Michael Dolega, a se­nior econ­o­mist for TD Eco­nomics.

But clearly the big­gest chal­lenge Mr. Trump faces in the months to come is North Korea which test launched an­other medium-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile on Wed­nes­day.

That, most as­suredly, will be the chief is­sue that he will dis­cuss with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping this week­end.

“We have a big prob­lem… and that’s go­ing to be my re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mr. Trump said of North Korea in a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day in the White House Rose Gar­den.

And it’s only go­ing to get big­ger, much big­ger. Na­tional se­cu­rity ex­perts say that the Com­mu­nist regime is likely to de­velop a long-range nu­clear mis­sile with the ca­pa­bil­ity of reach­ing the U.S. be­fore Mr. Trump leaves office.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY MARK WE­BER

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