In this Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, photo, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is towed to Seattle's Terminal 18. (Genna Martin/seattlepi.com via AP)
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The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a near five-year high in January as cellphones and rising oil prices helped to push up the import bill, suggesting trade would again weigh on economic growth in the first quarter. The Commerce Department said Tuesday the trade gap increased 9.6 percent to $48.5 billion, the highest level since March 2012 . The Trump administration is eyeing trade as it seeks 4 percent annual GDP growth.In January, imports of goods and services increased 2.3 percent to $240.6 billion, the highest level since December 2014 .The value of petroleum imports was the highest in two years.The politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit increased 12.8 percent to $31.3 billion in January, while the trade gap with Germany fell 8 percent to $4.9 billion.
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