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U.S. trade deficit grows to $54.9 billion in August

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, jumping for the first time in 3 months due to increased imports, reports the AP from Commerce Department data.

Why it matters: Though it had fallen in June and July, the country's overall trade deficit is still up for the year as a result of President Trump's ongoing trade war with China.

  • By the numbers: The U.S. increased exports by 0.2% in August to $207.9 billion, but imports jumped up 0.5% to $262.8 billion as shipments of cellphones increased ahead of the planned tariffs against Chinese goods that are planned to begin in September.

What's next: The U.S. and China are set to meet next week for the 13th time to try to resolve the trade dispute, despite the fact that Trump downplayed the importance of the meeting this week, telling reporters he has "a lot of options on China. But if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power."

Go deeper: Despite promises, Trump's trade deficits are only growing