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Axios Feb 19, 2017
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Trump may recalculate trade figures to make deficits look worse

Stephen Carr/Los Angeles Daily News via AP

A Wall Street Journal scoop on how the Trump administration may fiddle with trade data says the calculation may change to exclude products imported and then exported. That would make the trade deficit look larger.

Some government employees objected to compiling the data, according to people familiar with the discussions. A Trump official said no decision's been made on changing the calculations.

Why this matters: "A larger trade deficit would give the Trump administration ammunition in arguing that trade deals need to be renegotiated, and might help boost political support for imposing tariffs," the WSJ writes.