Everyone appears to be aflutter about recent U.S. trade deficit statistics. The media seems to have declared victory in terms of our nation's exports with China last year. But not so fast. We still have at least a month to go before we really know whether 2013 was a banner year for U.S. trade with the communist nation at least. It'll probably be less a banner and more a rebound year? Out of the woods, finally? Let us hope.


It was a November miracle, sort of. The gap between the nation’s imports and exports narrowed to $34.3 billion, the smallest in four years, thanks to increased overseas sales of U.S.-made motor vehicles, aircraft and machinery and greater domestic energy production, the Commerce Department reports.  


U.S. manufacturing appears to be headed for a good year in 2014 with equipment spending likely to increase 7 percent, compared to 3.5 percent in 2013, according to a recent analysis by HIS Global Insight. Employment, however, still lags behind pre-recession levels. 


Here's a fascinating little site that tracks the U.S. trade deficit in real time. The so-called Trade Ticker sponsored by the American Economic Alert showed it at $4.946 billion as of 4:55 p.m. EST.  So much for all the hoopla that the trade gap shrunk in October. We're in for a surprise by the time all 2013's data comes in.


Twenty years later, the much-touted North American Free Trade Agreement failed to live up to a lot of its hype, according to a recent Public Citizen report. The nation actually lost at least 1 million jobs, as its trade deficit with hit new heights. That's hardly progress. Just imagine what havoc theTrans-Pacific Partnership pact – otherwise known as NAFTA on steroids – will wreak. Let's make sure we won't have to find out.


A New York City apparel maker wants to make a Made in America fashion statement by producing blue shoelaces to raise awareness of the struggle faced by U.S. manufacturers, much the way the rubber bracelet has been used in the fight against cancer.


The president’s penchant for ruling by executive order is ruffling congressional feathers, especially among the body’s GOP ranks who fear Obama will use it to advance liberal policies, further endangering his request for fast-track trade authority. 


Uncle Sam can't seem to be bothered about walking the “Buy American” talk, sending more than $1.5 billion overseas to purchase uniforms for a wide range of U.S. government employees -- from TSA workers to members of the armed services. 


The recession-ravaged but now rebounding Midwest got the Christmas present that keeps on giving  -- jobs. Whirlpool is moving the world’s largest washing-machine factory from Mexico to Clyde, Ohio, as of April next year. 


Congress will be on Fast Track ‘trade promotion authority’ next month, but we can do something to stop them now.  Members of Congress are back in their home districts now.  Here’s a list of events where you can find them and tell them to vote NO on Fast Track.