U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices [Updated February 24, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "Exports and imports of petroleum products and changes in their prices have long had a large impact on the U.S. balance of payments, often serving as a major component in the U.S. trade deficit. Over the past decade, however, this has changed. Currently, petroleum prices are having less of an impact on the U.S. balance of payments primarily due to the growth in U.S. exports of petroleum products; in the last four months of 2019, U.S. exports of petroleum products exceeded imports. [...] In general, market demand for petroleum products remains highly resistant to changes in prices and reflects the unique nature of the demand for and the supply of energy-related products. Turmoil in the Middle East continues to be an important factor that creates uncertainty in global petroleum markets. In addition, a slowdown in the rate of economic growth in China and India, combined with mixed data on economic growth and prospects for developed economies are creating uncertainties in the global petroleum market. The global market price of oil is also affected by fluctuations in U.S. energy production, uncertainty concerning oil production decisions by various members of OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries], and the uncertain prospect of Iranian supplies of oil. Oil futures markets in January 2020 indicate that oil traders expect crude oil prices to move in a range of $56 to $60 dollars per barrel through 2020. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing energy prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22204
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/