Japan’s Trade Gap With U.S. Falls Sharply: Japan’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States in October fell to $2.66 billion from $4.77 billion a year earlier, marking the largest such drop in dollar terms since April, 1990. The main reason for the fall in the surplus with the United States was a rise in imports of U.S. products, with automobile imports jumping 122.2% in dollar terms. Imports of autos, personal computers and meat rose also. Following release of the data, the dollar rose as high as 101.57 yen, compared with a low of 101.24 in early Asian trading. A shrinking surplus is good news for the dollar by leaving fewer dollars in the hands of Japanese exporters to sell for yen.