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NAM says trade decline has not yet hit bottom.

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May 14, 2009 - According to Frank Vargo of NAM, seasonally-adjusted March exports of manufactured goods were 6% below February levels, while manufactured goods imports fell 3%. In capital goods sector, declines were registered in 25 of 32 categories. Decline in manufactured goods trade deficit shows current manufacturing job loss is due to declining domestic economy, not trade. U.S. Free Trade Agreements continued to be bright spot, with $21 billion last year.

NAM Says Trade Decline Has Not Yet Hit Bottom

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National Association Of Manufacturers (NAM)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC, 20004

Press release date: May 12, 2009

Surplus With Free Trade Agreement Countries Continues

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2009 - In response to March trade figures released by the Commerce Department today showing that manufactured goods trade continued to fall in March, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo issued the following statement:

Seasonally-adjusted March exports of manufactured goods were $67 billion, 6 percent less than in February, while manufactured goods imports fell 3 percent to $92 billion. With exports declining faster than imports, the manufactured goods deficit increased slightly to $25 billion, up from $24 billion in February.

The March data do not show signs that the trade decline has yet hit bottom. Exports declined in most manufactured goods categories. In the important capital goods sector, which accounts for close to half of U.S. manufactured goods exports, declines were registered in 25 of the 32 categories.

On a year-to-date basis through March, U.S. manufactured goods exports were 21 percent below their level this time last year. Imports were off more, falling 25 percent, and the manufactured goods trade deficit was 31 percent smaller than a year ago.

Year-to-date, the manufactured goods trade deficit stood at $321 billion, reflecting an annual rate $147 billion decline year-over-year. The decline in the deficit shows that the manufacturing job loss experienced so far this year is due to the declining domestic economy, not trade.

U.S. Free Trade Agreements continued to be a bright spot. U.S. manufactured goods trade with our free trade partners was in surplus by $21 billion last year, and preliminary data show that surplus has grown even more this year.

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's web site at for more information about manufacturing and the economy.

1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Suite 600 - Washington, DC 20004-1790 -
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