February's trade deficit widened to 42.3 billion, with about half due to trade with China.
Dean Baker, economic prognosticator extraordinaire at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, identifies the US trade deficit as the biggest obstacle to full employment.
If so, America exporting demand and jobs abroad is a good candidate for most under-reported story.
Baker claims that even though many multi-nationals are comfortable shifting America's manufacturing base abroad, there are a variety of tactics the federal government might take to stop the job and demand drain associated with the trade deficit:
First, the US could pass legislation that gave the government the right to treat currency management as a violation of international trading rules, leading to offsetting tariffs. Second, we could also tax foreign holdings of United States Treasuries, making the usual tactic of currency managers more expensive. Third, we could institute reciprocity into the process of currency management: If a country wants to buy our Treasuries, we must be able to buy theirs.