Every president promises to reduce the trade deficit, but few come through. The elder Bush did it and Barack Obama did it, but that’s it for the past six presidents. The rest of them just made it worse. In recent years, the trade deficit stayed steady during Obama’s second term at about -2.8 percent, but despite Trump’s widespread imposition of tariffs and his promise to reduce the trade deficit, he was unable to make a dent in it when he took over. In fact, the trade deficit is set to get worse this year, projected to finish at about -3 percent.