Jimmy Carter - The international economy

The problems Carter confronted abroad were economic as well as political. They included the opening up of a trade deficit as Americans bought more from other countries, especially manufactured goods from Japan and Germany and oil from the Middle East, than those countries purchased in the United States. In addition to working for the reduction of oil imports, the administration pressed its allies, which now had strong economies, to buy more American products, but, to the especially great distress of the American automobile industry, the efforts failed to close the trade gap, and the failure gave a boost to protectionist sentiment in the United States. The administration also struggled unsuccessfully with a weakening of the dollar.

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