NAFTA Trade

NAFTA Trade

When the U.S., Canada and Mexico implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, it opened the door for open trade by ending tariffs on various goods and services and creating an even playing field for the three markets. Today, agricultural goods such as eggs, corn and meats; manufactured products such as auto parts; and raw materials such as steel and lumber flow freely across the borders, primarily by truck and rail.

The U.S. exported more than $280 billion in goods to Canada in 2011, making its northern neighbor the largest source for outgoing products.  U.S. imports, at more than $315 billion, make Canada the second-largest source of inbound goods after China.

Exports to and imports from Mexico set record highs in 2011, with exports reaching $198.4 billion and imports hitting $262.9 billion.

The combined $1.1 trillion in combined trade among the three partners make NAFTA the second-largest trade bloc in the world, second only to the 27-member European Union.

News & Analysis

18 May 2015
The number of tractor-trailers crossing U.S. borders rose 2.4 percent in the first quarter, following a 4 percent increase last year, according to Department of Transportation data. Border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico outpaced U.S.-Canadian truck traffic.
10 Apr 2015
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants to join a Teamster-led lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's decision to allow Mexican carriers to apply for U.S. authority.
23 Feb 2015
The five largest U.S. border crossings by truck increased truck volume 4 percent in 2014, with Laredo, the largest truck crossing point, processing 5.5 percent more trucks than in 2014.
13 Jan 2015
Giving Mexican carriers U.S. authority may not solve the chronic equipment imbalance and capacity problems at the U.S.-Mexican border, a logistics official says.
A tractor-trailer approaches the U.S.-Mexico border.
13 Jan 2015
Even if Mexican carriers rush to apply for U.S. authority, getting freight across the border won't become easier without improved customs processes, an expert on U.S.-Mexican trade says.
08 Dec 2014
Transplace is expanding in Western Canada and Quebec as U.S.-Canada cross-border traffic speeds up, along with the U.S. and Canadian economies.

Commentary

Despite what looks like minimal impact on binational cross-border trade, the inability to put to rest the issue of Mexican trucks serving all of the U.S. should serve as a national embarrassment.