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

Union Pacific Railroad locomotives in Santa Teresa, N.M.
21 Apr 2014
SANTA TERESA, N.M. — There’s not much out here other than roads, warehouses and cacti — and now a sprawling Union Pacific Railroad intermodal terminal and fueling station. Secluded as it is, what happens at this $400 million facility in a desert framed by mountains ripples through UP’s 32,000-mile U.S. network and taps into one of the largest trends in transportation rail: domestic rail growth.
Mariposa port of entry
30 Sep 2013
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is finalizing talks with five entities to allow some U.S.-Mexico shippers to fund additional Customs and Border Protection staffing during busy times or for extended hours as part of a pilot project.
U.S. Cross-Border Imports from Mexico. Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics
30 Sep 2013
U.S. cross-border traffic with Mexico via truck and rail jumped 8.1 percent in July 2013, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Both imports and exports via these modes of surface transportation were up year-over-year for the first time since April.
Arizona border crossing
29 Jul 2013
A federal court again rejected challenges to the U.S. cross-border trucking program with Mexico, which has seen traffic increase this year but remains small.
U.S. cross-border trade by truck with Canada and Mexico. Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics
01 Jul 2013
U.S. cross-border traffic with North American Free Trade Agreement partners Mexico and Canada via truck and rail was up 8.3 percent from $69.17 billion in April 2012 to roughly $75 billion this April, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
24 Apr 2013
Steel imports in March were 2.475 million tons, dropping 1.3 percent from 2.508 million tons in February and plummeting 19.3 percent from March 2012, according to preliminary government reporting...

Pages

Commentary

The ‘giant sucking sound’ of jobs moving south that Ross Perot so famously forecast would be NAFTA’s calling card isn’t the case at all 20 years after the agreement was enacted.