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Dominican Republic-U.S. trade deficit jumps to US$688M on imports

Dominican Today, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic-U.S. trade deficit jumps to US$688M on imports

12 May 2008

SANTO DOMINGO.- In the first three months this year the country posted a trade deficit with the United States of US$688 million, much higher than the US$426 million in the year earlier period, reports newspaper Hoy.

Imports rose from US$1.4 billion to US$1.6 billion in that period and exports fell from US$99.2 million to US$927 million.

Just in March the country’s trade deficit with the U.S. was 249 million dollars.

According to a report by the economist Luis Vargas, based on a recent U.S. Department of Commerce publication on transactions abroad, the country’s deficit with the U.S. in March is attributed to increased imports from 10.7 million to 583 million and lowered exports of -3,6 percent to 334.4 million, compared with just February.

"In 2004 the foreign mercatile balance of Dominican Republic with the United States declared a surplus of 168.8 million dollars; whereas this interchange posted respective exorbitant déficits of 115 million to 1.88 billion from 2005 to 2007 and, worse still, to 2.2 billion in the 13 months the Dr-Cafta took effect, included between March, 2007 and March, 2008," says the report prepared by Vargas.

The fall in exports is the result of the "accelerated dismantling of industry and agriculture, a double increased deficit of the flows of external accounts and government interior and rise in the rates of impoverishment and transnational emigration."

Vargas’ report says that faced with the trade destabilization of the country’s productive activities, international transactions and labor and state income there’s no another alternative aside from to plan and apply a program of defense of the national and popular interests, based on policies such as the industrial and agrarian reform, the renegotiation of the Cafta-RD and Petro-Caribe agreements and the fair redistribution of wealth, conditioned on safeguarding the preservation of the island’s ecosystem."

While the Dr-Cafta has been in effect the deficit has accentuated.

Trade balance figures: From January-March 2008 imports rose from US$1.41 to US$1.6 billion, and exports fell from US$992 to US$927 million.

In March the trade deficit with the U.S. was US$249 billion, as the result of US$583 million in imports and US$334 million in exports.