"Global surpluses and deficits have become increasingly concentrated in AEs [advanced economies], as China and oil exporters have seen their current account surpluses narrow and the deficits of some EMDEs [emerging market and developing economies] (for example, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa) have shrunk. Key drivers of this reconfiguration were the sharp drop earlier this decade in oil prices, which have recovered somewhat after bottoming out in 2016, and the gradual tightening of global financing conditions reflecting prospects for monetary policy normalization in the United States. Also at work have been asymmetries in demand recovery and the associated policy responses in systemic economies ... After 2013, higher or persistently large surpluses in key advanced economies (for example, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands) were underpinned by relatively weaker domestic demand, constrained by fiscal consolidation efforts—necessary in some cases, given compressed fiscal space. Meanwhile, higher or persistent current account deficits in other AEs (United Kingdom, United States) reflected a stronger recovery in domestic demand, supported by some recent fiscal easing. Meanwhile, the narrowing of China’s underlying current account surplus was supported by a marked relaxation of fiscal and credit policies, masking lingering structural problems and causing a buildup of domestic vulnerabilities. These asymmetries in demand strength have also led to differences in monetary policy (as seen by the evolution of longer term nominal bond yields) and currencies."In passing, it's worth notice that the IMF economists explain these shifts in current account surpluses and deficits without reference to trade becoming more or less fair--which makes sense, because there were no major changes in the rules over this time. Instead, they focus on demand in different countries, along with fiscal and monetary policy choices.
"The CA [current account] surplus continued to decline, reaching 1.4 percent of GDP in 2017 ... about 0.4 percentage points lower than in 2016. This mainly reflects a shrinking trade balance (driven by high import volume growth), notwithstanding REER [real effective exchange rate] depreciation. Viewed from a longer perspective, the CA surplus declined substantially relative to the peak of about 10 percent of GDP in 2007, reflecting strong investment growth, REER appreciation, weak demand in major advanced economies, and, more recently, a widening of the services deficit ..."Conversely, the US current account trade deficit has declined from about 6% of GDP back in 2006 down to about 2.5% of GDP since 2014.