America's trade deficit jumped to $10.14 billion in October as the country drew in a record level of imports and suffered the worst deficit with Japan in history.

The October trade gap was up 8.4 percent from a revised September deficit of $9.35 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.October's overall imbalance was the second highest monthly deficit in goods and services on record. It reflected the fact that imports climbed for a sixth straight month to a record high of $69.84 billion while exports were down 1.6 percent to $59.70 billion. The deficit is the difference between exports and imports.

So far this year, the country has been running a trade deficit in goods alone of $150.2 billion at an annual rate, the worst performance since a record high of $152.1 billion set in 1987.

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While the Clinton administration has been pushing to lower trade barriers around the world through such deals as the 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, critics have pointed to the bleak trade figures this year in an effort to prove the policy is not working.

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