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.
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.
17 Apr 2014
Kansas City Southern Railway appears confident the Mexican government won’t require it to open up its track to competitors as legislation had threatened last fall.
Making Christmas ornaments in a maquiladora.
15 Apr 2014
JUAREZ, Mexico — Each Christmas ornament or mannequin that is shipped from here to major U.S. retailers is a sign of Mexico’s growing competitive edge with China.
27 Mar 2014
An early produce season is already tightening the supply of available northbound tractor-trailers coming from Mexico, Transplace's Troy Ryley says. That's a warning sign for shippers watching truck capacity closely.
06 Mar 2014
WASHINGTON — U.S. and Mexican shippers and transportation providers in their countries’ trusted traded programs could see faster cargo processing at the shared border as soon as late 2014, Mexico head of customs today.

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.