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OPINION

Record US Exports Help Narrow Trade Defitcit

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U.S. companies sold more computers, heavy machinery and telecommunications equipment in foreign markets in April, pushing exports to a record high. Imports declined, reflecting a big drop in auto imports from Japan caused by supply disruptions from the March earthquake and tsunami.
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The Commerce Department said Thursday that the trade deficit narrowed by 6.7 percent in April to $43.7 billion, the lowest level since December.

Exports of U.S. goods and services rose 1.3 percent to a record $175.6 billion. Imports dipped 0.4 percent to $219.2 billion as imports from Japan plunged 25.5 percent.

The trade deficit with China jumped 19.4 percent to $21.6 billion, a development likely to increase pressure to crack down on Chinese trade practices seen by U.S. critics as unfair to American workers.

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