CHICAGO The U.S. iron and steel mill products trade deficit slid in 2013 from the previous year as metalliferous ores and scrap, copper and other nonferrous metals all fell, analysis of the latest U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data show.
The iron and steel mill product trade deficit stood at $7.02 billion in 2013, down 18.5 percent from $8.62 billion a year earlier.
The copper trade surplus sank 19.7 percent to $2.35 billion from $2.93 billion in 2012; and metalliferous ores and metal scrap logged a trade surplus to $17.62 billion, down 7.1 percent from $18.96 billion.
Exports of aluminum and alumina rose 0.4 percent for the year, while exports of bauxite and aluminum fell 4.3 percent from 2012.
Total U.S. exports of $2.27 billion and imports of $2.74 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $471.5 billion, off 11.8 percent from $534.7 billion in 2012.
"The trade deficit is more than a number. It represents a shrinking middle class, fewer good job opportunities, and further proof that our economic policiesincluding a lack of enforcement of existing trade lawscontribute to outsourcing," according to Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents the metals industry and labor.