"Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching $112 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has risen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly higher level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. This rising cost added an estimated $50 billion to the nation's trade deficit in 2006 and another $28 billion in 2007. Imported energy prices in 2007 rose through the summer and then more sharply in the fall, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. This report will be updated as warranted by events."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22204