USTR Lighthizer says U.S. trade policies working despite August trade deficit jump

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer holds up a document titled "Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China - Phase One" as he speaks at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S. trade on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 17, 2020. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday that the higher U.S. trade deficit in 2020 has been largely due to non-monetary gold imports and that President Donald Trump’s trade policies were working despite a $67.1 billion August trade deficit that was the largest in 14 years.

In a statement, Lighthizer said the larger August trade deficit was due to the stronger performance of the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus compared to those of its G7 trading partners.

“Basically, many of our partners were more negatively affected by the pandemic than we were,” Lighthizer said in response to the Commerce Department data..

Reporting by David Lawder