The U.S. has held a trade deficit starting late in the 1960s. It was this very deficit that forced the United States in 1971 off the Gold Standard. Its trade deficit has been increasing at a large rate since 1997. - see 1980-2009 graph: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_of_trade#United_States_Trade_Deficit
<http://www.marktaw.com/culture_and_media/The U S Trade Deficit.html>
- if it weren't for oil imports, the Trade Deficit would have been improving Jan'2007-Jan'2009 (and had been flat since Jan'2004)
- [previous](http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pMscxxELHEg/SXu-IBM6k3I/AAAAAAAAEXE/Q2KYO8ce_9Q/s1600-h/Trade DeficitGDP.jpg) cyclical negative-peak was 1985-89. After improving, it hit that same level in 2000 and has been getting worse ever since.
Balance an issue really only since 2005.
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