Surface trade with Canada and Mexico in 2009 took the steepest dive in the 15 year history of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its NAFTA partners fell 23.3 percent in 2009 compared with 2008, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday.
At $637 billion, combined imports and exports fell 8.8 percent below the level reached in 2005, BTS said.
NAFTA surface trade increased in every prior year except 2001 and 2002, when it declined 4.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
As the recession took hold, the value of trade by surface transportation with Canada and Mexico decreased by 31.1 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. As recovery began, surface trade decreased by 14.9 percent in the final six months of the year. After 14 consecutive months of decline, surface trade increased by 10.5 percent in December compared to December 2008, in which trade fell 13.1 percent compared to a year earlier.
Total North American surface transportation imports decreased by 26.5 percent in 2009 from 2008, and exports decreased by 19.2 percent during the same period.
In 2009, 86.6 percent of U.S. merchandise trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land.
U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $386 billion in 2009, a decrease of 28.1 percent compared to 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 25.7 percent lower in 2009 than 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 20.2 percent lower.
U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $251 billion in 2009, a decrease of 14.4 percent compared to 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 12.2 percent lower in 2009 than in 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 10.8 percent lower.
Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org.