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U.S. TRADE DEFICIT SETS NEW RECORD IN FEBRUARY

The U.S. trade deficit, exacerbated by surging imports of oil and textiles, soared to an all-time high of $61.04 billion in February.

The Commerce Department said today that the February imbalance was up 4.3 percent from a $58.5 billion trade gap in January as a small $50 million rise in U.S. exports of goods and services was swamped by a $2.58 billion increase in imports.

The surging trade deficit is leading to an increase in protectionist pressures as American textile and clothing manufacturers are lobbying the administration to limit imports of Chinese textile and clothing goods to ward off a flood of products now that global quotas have expired.