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Cars wait to be loaded onto a freighter. The automobile sector makes up much of the U.S. trade deficit on goods with Japan.
Economy

Japan resurfaces as No. 2 contributor to US trade deficit

Hot-button automobile sector underpins imbalance

TAKESHI KAWANAMI, Nikkei staff writer | China

WASHINGTON -- Japan accounted for $68.9 billion of the U.S. trade deficit on goods in 2016, re-emerging as the second-largest contributor for the first time in three years for a potential flashpoint when the leaders of the two nations meet Friday.

The overall U.S. trade deficit on goods shrank by 1.5% to $734.3 billion last year on a Census basis, according to Department of Commerce data released Tuesday. Exports fell 3.2% to $1.45 trillion on a strong dollar, but imports decreased 2.6% to $2.18 trillion.

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