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

Vehicles in ro-ro carrier
31 Aug 2014
North American vehicle production is on the rise amid strong demand for vehicles in the NAFTA countries and foreign markets.
KCS train
29 Jan 2014
Kansas City Southern Railway expects to see a surge of business from three new Mexican auto plants later than previously anticipated, as the Nissan, Honda and Audi plants are slated to produce only half their full capacity this year.
NAFTA at 20
24 Jan 2014
This is the first of a two-part series looking at NAFTA’s legacy, the North American supply chain and the future of cross-border trade.
12 Jan 2014
At a recent supply chain conference, Bradley S. Jacobs heard a “financially compelling” case for investing and doing business in his country from former Mexican President Felipe Calderón. “Mexico is positioning to chip into China’s status as one of our major trading partners,” said the chairman and CEO of XPO Logistics.
Kansas City Southern Mexico intermodal train
01 Oct 2013
Rising costs for truckers in Mexico will drive more U.S.-bound freight from highways to rail networks, fueling strong intermodal growth, a Kansas City Southern Railway executive told the JOC Inland Distribution Conference.
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.

Commentary

As the growth in the number of exports from Mexico to the U.S. shows no signs of slowing down, the challenges that come as a result of the trade imbalance will not go away. This cycle is not healthy for the transportation industry, and we need to find ways to encourage capacity into the market.