Say US company A imports a product from foreign company B, and pays them X dollars for it. B now has the bucks, in a bank somewhere. They either convert it to their own currency, or they invest those dollars in our economy, right? Or maybe they use those dollars in another transaction with foreign company C, whatever. I don't see a debt problem yet, the US gov't doesn't owe anybody anything at this point. If the US gov't were not running a deficit, there would be no debt, regardless of the trade imbalance. Foreign interests could invest here or buy US assets, but I see no connection between the trade imbalance and our national debt.