Annual trade deficits indicate the nation consumed more than it produced. Annual trade deficits are always net detrimental to their nation's GDP and thus to their numbers of jobs.
I'm among the proponents of the improved trade policy concept as described in Wikipedia's “Import Certificates” article. It is superior to free trade, tariffs, or any other trade policy we're aware of.
Exporters of USA goods may REQUEST, (they are not required) to have the value of their export shipments assessed and they agree to pay the federal fee rate based upon that assessed value. When their goods leave the USA, They're issued TRANSFERABLE Import Certificates with a face value equal to the assessed value of their export shipment.
Importers are REQUIRED to surrender certificates of sufficient face value to cover the assessed value of their import shipment. The surrendered certificates are then canceled.
Federal assessment guidelines and fees are updated annually. The fees by law are set to only to defray all federal direct expenditures due to this policy.
Regardless of the additional cost to USA purchasers of imports, (i.e. regardless of how small of a price increase), this policy will significantly reduce, (if not entirely eliminate) USA's chronic annual trade deficits of goods.
Increased prices of imports that are beyond the costs attributable to the federal fees, (i.e. costs attributable to markets' behaviors), serve as indirect but effective price subsidy of USA's exported goods.
Goods assessment values are reduced due to eliminating the approximate values of specifically listed scarce or precious mineral materials integral to the goods.
Google Wikipedia's article entitled “Import Certificates”.