The White House on Thursday released a report quantifying the economic, budgetary and programmatic costs of the government shutdown
and furloughs of 850,000 personnel last month.
Trade was among the areas directly affected by the shutdown, in part because import and export licenses and applications could not be processed. The Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, for example, was unable to issue export certificates for beer, wine and distilled spirits, which caused more than 2 million liters of products to sit at U.S. ports.
The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security could not accept new export license applications, and existing reviews were put on hold, preventing some sellers of high-tech goods from exporting their products. The president and other officials were forced to cancel trips to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and other trade negotiations that would have advanced U.S. trade goals, the White House said. And the Export-Import Bank suspended approvals for new applications for loans, guarantees and insurance. In a typical month, the bank approves nearly $3 billion in authorizations with an export value of $4.2 billion.
Various independent economists have estimated the shutdown will drag down the economy by about 0.5 percent from what it would have achieved. The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the combination of the shutdown and the potential of a default on the nation's debt when political fighting almost prevented raising of borrowing limits resulted in 120,000 fewer private sector jobs created during the first two weeks of October.