Amid an ongoing tariff battle with its global partners, the U.S. saw its trade deficit continue to widen as soybean exports plunged by $1 billion in August.
The imbalance increased $3.2 billion in August to $53.2 billion, a 6.4 percent increase and part of an ongoing trend in 2018, according to the figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census.
For the calendar year, the trade deficit is up $31 billion or 8.6 percent from a year ago.
The increase continues the White House's unsuccessful efforts to narrow the balance between imports and exports, a major priority for President Donald Trump. The U.S. has slapped China with $200 billion worth of tariffs on multiple goods, which has triggered retaliation. The U.S. has a $261.1 billion deficit with China year to date, $38.6 billion of which came in August.