Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected an even wider trade gap of $46.6 billion in June. "We expect the trade deficit to continue to widen, as a fiscal stimulus-led boost to demand leads to higher imports". Exports of aluminum subject to the tariffs fell 7 per cent, after jumping 29 per cent in the prior three months.
Overall exports dropped 0.7 percent to $213.8 billion, despite record overseas shipments of petroleum and all industrial supplies and materials.
On a volume basis, exports were up 2.1 per cent while imports were down 1.2 per cent.
Amid President Donald Trump's escalating trade dispute with China, the Commerce Department said the US had a $32.5 billion trade deficit with the communist country in June. According to National Bank of Canada's analyst Kyle Dahms, goods trade likely contributed to growth in Q2.
Canada's largest trading partner, the United States, was the destination for a record $37.1 billion of exports in June, up 2.5 per cent - mainly because of passenger cars and light trucks, Statistics Canada reported.
The US bilateral trade deficits also expanded with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico - all of which have retaliated against Trump's aggressive tariffs.
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Shortly before the numbers were released, Beijing warned it was ready to impose new tariffs on $60 billion in American products, responding to Trump's plans to jack up the punitive duties on the next $200 billion in Chinese goods to be targeted.
After posting a record high in May, imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 17.1 per cent to $2 billion, returning to April levels, Statistics Canada said.
The result could weigh on revised calculations of second quarter growth, which President Donald Trump hailed as a key achievement of his economic policies last week after it was reported as the strongest GDP increase in almost four years.
And so as Yahoo Finance has written before, tax cuts could end up working against Trump's efforts to bring down the USA trade deficit, which in 2017 totaled $570 billion.
June capped off a strong second quarter for Canadian trade.
"After acting as a drag on the economy for the preceding three quarters, external trade appears to have provided a decent boost to GDP growth in the second quarter", said Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist for Capital Economics. The report raised expectations for a Bank of Canada rate increase in September to 39 per cent, from 32 per cent yesterday and 12 per cent a fortnight ago.