Trade: Every Little Bit Helps

Every Little Bit Helps

Any decline in the gargantuan U.S. trade deficit is welcome news. Last week the Government gave cause for restrained cheers in reporting that the trade deficit narrowed slightly in September, falling to $12.56 billion, down $760 million from the previous month. The drop may have resulted from the weakened dollar, which has depreciated by as much as 40% against the Japanese yen and major European currencies since it peaked in February 1985. Declared Secre- tary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige: "We have turned the corner on the trade deficit."

But that is hardly guaranteed. When measured against a wider group of currencies,...

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