The U.S. trade deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time last year, according to Market Watch.
The deficit jumped from $893.5 billion in 2020—the nation's previous record—to $1.08 trillion in 2021. The United States' economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has outpaced other nations, spurring increased demand. But Americans have tended toward buying more foreign goods as U.S. businesses have struggled with supply chain shortages caused by worker illness due to COVID-19 as well as government-imposed restrictions and mandates.
During a marathon press conference last week, President Joe Biden credited his administration with having fixed supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic.
"I often see empty shelves being shown on television," Biden said. "Eighty-nine percent are full, which is only a few points below what it was before the pandemic."
But supply chain issues are still being reported, especially in the auto industry, where new car sales still lag their pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturers reported about 15 million new vehicle sales in 2021—2 million less than the year before the pandemic.