The US trade deficit rose 12.2% in 2021 to reach nearly $1tn as Americans continued to purchase high volumes of foreign goods.
Despite escalating tensions between the US and China, trade between the world's two largest economies grew with imports and exports totalling $690.6bn in 2021.
The US' imports from China increased by 18% with American consumers spending more on Chinese-made toys and mobile phones.
The rise in exports in 2021 was buoyed by growth in US energy shipments abroad, a recovery in the US travel sector following the pandemic, and improved economic ties with Europe.
The New York Times reported that exports of goods and services rose at a faster rate of 17.7%, reaching $3tn, compared to the growth rate of imports, which rose 16.3%, reaching $4tn.
In contrast, BBC News noted that imports and exports between the US and China grew at a rate of 25%; the US' imports from China reached $536.8bn.
The two news sources also differed in their characterisations of the recent event where a Chinese spy balloon was found over the US. BBC News reported that tensions have been "rising" between the two countries while The New York Times stated that "relations between two of the world's biggest economies [had] been strained" by this discovery.
Overall, both news sources agreed that trade between the US and China remained strong despite geopolitical tensions whilst, more generally, Americans' appetite for imported goods has grown significantly.