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

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.
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.
18 Feb 2014
Cross-border trade among the U.S., Mexico and Canada is increasing, but President Obama is likely to hear complaints about U.S. trade barriers when he meets his Mexican and Canadian counterparts Feb. 19.
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.

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.