The economic rents captured by real estate owners, firms, and high income workers in Closed Access cities are paying for all those imports. There is no balance of exports we have to create to make up for those imports.
It's a shame that if we fixed this problem, the simultaneous improvement in broad real American incomes and the decline in the trade deficit would be taken as evidence that trade is harmful.
PS. Drops in manufacturing employment are clearly associated with recessions. Yet, there is no bounce back during recoveries. If this is, indeed, attributed to global trade patterns, shouldn't our first obvious response be to change our status as the country with the world's highest corporate income tax?
Oddly, a common response to this is that effective corporate tax rates are actually not that high, because corporations arrange for so many favorable tax breaks. The largest supposed tax break, by far, is to move operations and revenues out of the country to literally any other place in the world. But, for the sake of argument, let's say there are so many domestic tax breaks that corporations really do pay competitive tax rates in the US. So, this argument basically says that US corporate tax policy is fine because as long as corporations curry favor from politicians, they can get a competitive tax treatment in the US. This argument basically demands that corporations rig the tax system. Because, if they don't, locating production in the US saddles them with a 10%+ disadvantage compared to the rest of the world.
In the realm of people who equate trade deficits with falling US manufacturing employment, I see two camps. (1) those who wish to impose punitive policies on foreign producers and (2) those who wish to impose punitive policies on US corporations.
There is an argument that we need to strike a balance between stability and growth. But, as a first step, we need to recognize where arguments against international trade are simply a subset of arguments against progress in general. Where that is the case, proposed solutions to the dislocations caused by international trade need to be convincing in the generalized case as solutions to the dislocations caused by general progress.