In November 2020 the US trade deficit was $68.1 billion. Paid in gold the US would have to send 2.45 million pounds or 35.77 million ounces per month to foreign countries to cover the deficit.
The US currently has $484 billion or 262 million ounces in gold. Fort Knox alone has 147 million ounces of gold.
At the current rate the US would deplete the gold in Fort Knox in 4 months and all of America’s gold in 7.5 months.
What does this mean? I guess not much…until the flim-flam of fiat for real goods goes bust. The paper based system works because the countries receiving the paper dollar in payment can turn around and spend that paper to buy goods…oil, land, machinery etc. Nothing will change unless the value of the dollar drops dramatically…then the countries will want some usable good as payment…either a product produced in America…maybe a national forest or two…or America’s store of monetary metals. The US would have to clean out fort knox to pay the foreigners…which would work for a few months. Then what? War?
Because America produces little in the way of actual goods, if something were to break regarding international relations, Americans would be getting a lot less stuff and paying more for that which they do get. It is a precarious situation.
If you want to make money in future America, manufacture a usable good that people need.