The leading trade nations
Typically a trade surplus indicates a sign of economic success and a trade deficit indicates an economic weakness. However, if that were true, then the top four, China, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Russia, would be considered the best performing countries in the world. However, this would mean that the United States, Great Britain, India and Japan would be among the weakest nations considering that they are four countries with the highest trade deficit. In fact, they are leading industrial nations.
While China is known for producing and exporting products at a competitive price, it has undervalued its exchange rate in order to promote exports. However, China is now working to reduce its reliance on exports even though they continue to export large and increasing quantities of goods. In the case of Germany, the value of the euro may not be high enough, however growth concerning the value of exports has slowed over the past few years. In contrast, the value of the dollar in the United States may be too high, favoring imports as opposed to exports.