Our trade deficit is half what it was at its peak. The problem is that this isn't nearly enough: eventually, we need to pay down all these loans. That means we need to start running a trade surplus, not merely a smaller deficit. And we have to do this even though oil prices are almost certain to rise in the long term and our dependence on foreign oil is going to continue to grow. I still haven't figured out how this is going to happen, and as near as I can tell, neither has anyone else. All the options seem pretty grim, though.