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

The value of the goods shipped between the U.S. and Canada dropped 12.5 percent in April, thanks to low oil prices, a strong U.S. dollar and a shrinking Canadian economy.

News & Analysis

25 Jun 2015
The Canadian General Freight Index declined slightly in April, but year-over-year base trucking rates were up nearly 7 percent, the index revealed. In a surprise turn, truckload costs for Canadian shippers dropped in April, while domestic and cross-border less-than-truckload rates climbed.
01 Jun 2015
Canadian National Railway is buying more refrigerated intermodal equipment as the prospect of tighter regulation of food supply chains poses a challenge for shippers.
29 May 2015
The value of goods trucked across the U.S.-Mexican border is outpacing the number of trucks making the crossing, rising twice as fast, U.S. transportation and trade data show.
18 May 2015
The number of tractor-trailers crossing U.S. borders rose 2.4 percent in the first quarter, following a 4 percent increase last year, according to Department of Transportation data. Border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico outpaced U.S.-Canadian truck traffic.
10 Apr 2015
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants to join a Teamster-led lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's decision to allow Mexican carriers to apply for U.S. authority.
23 Feb 2015
The five largest U.S. border crossings by truck increased truck volume 4 percent in 2014, with Laredo, the largest truck crossing point, processing 5.5 percent more trucks than in 2014.

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.