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

WASHINGTON — A key report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this fall will go a long way toward determining how committed politicians and business leaders are to taking the North American Free Trade Agreement to the next level.

News & Analysis

26 Nov 2014
U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and rail volume is poised to increase after Mexican factory export production in October hit a five-year high.
Made in Canada
27 Aug 2014
Canadian export growth is slated to rise to 4.7 percent this year and 7.7 percent in 2015, as global and particularly U.S. demand builds, non-energy shipments rise, and the Canadian dollar weakens, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.
BNSF and Ferromex locomotives
20 May 2014
U.S. and Mexican shippers later this month will gain better access to manufacturing growth in central Mexico through a joint service operated by BNSF Railway and Ferromex, the latest railroad partnership forged to tap growing cross-border trade.
Canadian and U.S. flags
24 Apr 2014
CHICAGO — The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. yesterday said the United States should use all of its harbor maintenance taxes for U.S. port work and shouldn’t impose a fee on U.S.-bound containers coming through Mexican and Canadian ports.
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.
Truck with Project 21 decal.
18 Apr 2014
EL PASO, Texas — The trucks here crossing the border from Juarez, Mexico, with “Project 21” decals are cleared by U.S. and Mexican customs agents faster than those trucks without the sticker, allowing drivers to get their goods from Mexican factories to U.S. customers faster.

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.