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Trade deficit plunges 16.9% in February

The U.S. trade deficit plunged in February as both imports and exports sank, driven by a since-settled trade dispute and a global economic slowdown that has cut into oil prices and caused the dollar to rise in value. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the deficit plummeted 16.9 percent to $35.4 billion in February, down from $42.7 billion in January. The sharp decrease reflects a $10.2 billion drop in imports since January, likely due to cheaper oil prices and a since-resolved West Coast ports dispute that interrupted the flow of 20 percent of the nation's imports. The dispute led to sharp declines in imported goods from China and Japan, causing the trade deficit with both...

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