In this study, the real economic activity and monetary policy in the US are examined in comparison with the foreign trade balance and exchange rates, using Qual VAR and nonlinear VAR models. We found that the foreign trade with Brazil, Canada and Mexico do not lead to a possible recession in the US. The value of the domestic currency of Brazil, Canada and Mexico against the US dollar does not contribute to a possible recession over the foreign exchange market. We also show that a contraction in the US economy and contructionaty monetary policy will lead to the appreciation of the US dollar by leading to capital inflows. Although the shadow interest rate may have asymmetric effects on the foreign trade balance with Canada and USD/CAD, we find that the foreign trade balance with Mexico and USD/MXN will be affected positively/negatively, by an increase/decrease in the shadow interest rate.