A Steep Decline in the Trade Deficit

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: In its best showing in nearly two years, the monthly U.S. trade deficit dropped 13.5 percent in November to $7.06 billion. The deficit with Japan dropped to $4.13 billion, the lowest level since May 1993. U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor credited the drop to continuing Administration efforts to break down trade barriers in Japan's auto industry. "Our exports to Japan are increasing at four times the rate of imports," Kantor said. The deficit has been shrinking steadily since it hit a record $11.39 billion last June. It's good news for a Clinton Administration beset by attacks on U.S. trade policy from Pat Buchanan and other Republican candidates. Still, there was some bad news for the President. The 1995 trade deficit is expected to be the highest to date: $165 billion.