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.

Special Coverage

The acquisition of three companies over the past year, the latest being Stagecoach Cartage in El Paso, gives Roadrunner Transportation Systems greater access to freight on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.

News & Analysis

25 Aug 2015
The number of trucks crossing the U.S. border is on the rise, as Laredo, Texas, set a new record for truck crossings in the second quarter. Slower economic growth in the U.S., however, masks some of the gains.
04 Aug 2015
The value of major global transportation acquisitions jumped 50 percent in the second quarter and rose 16 percent from the first quarter, as trucking and logistics firms reached across borders to buy their way into new markets and expand services.
24 Jul 2015
Canadian LTL and parcel operator Dicom is expanding in the U.S., completing its fourth acquisition in less than a year this week with the purchase of Extra Express in Los Angeles. The parcel and freight carrier seeks a bigger share of the final-mile transportation market on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.
20 Jul 2015
As cross-border trucking gains traction, DHL Global Forwarding is launching a LTL service connecting shippers and customers in the U.S. and Mexico.
25 Jun 2015
The Canadian General Freight Index declined slightly in April, but year-over-year base trucking rates were up nearly 7 percent, the index revealed. In a surprise turn, truckload costs for Canadian shippers dropped in April, while domestic and cross-border less-than-truckload rates climbed.
01 Jun 2015
Canadian National Railway is buying more refrigerated intermodal equipment as the prospect of tighter regulation of food supply chains poses a challenge for shippers.

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.