America's trade deficit improved slightly in June as record sales of U.S. farm products and other exports blunted the impact of soaring crude oil prices, the Associated Press reports.


The deficit for June dipped 0.3 percent to $64.8 billion, which was still the fifth largest deficit on record. The imbalance in May was revised to $64.97 billion, $1.1 billion higher than the initial estimate a month ago as late data showed bigger shipments of oil and consumer goods than originally reported .


Through the first half of this year, the deficit is running at an annual rate of $768 billion, putting it on track to surpass last year's record of $716.7 billion. Democrats hope to use the worsening trade deficit to attack Bush administration trade policies and argue that a tougher approach is needed, particularly with countries such as China.

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