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.

News & Analysis

07 Jul 2021
US shippers need to rethink how they move goods across the US-Mexico border, experts say, as supply chain disruption tightens truck capacity and amplifies an imbalance in north-south trade.
17 Feb 2021
Texas is the epicenter of supply-chain damage caused by Winter Storm Uri, but the disruption is being felt nationwide. Mexican imports by truck may be delayed for days.
18 Dec 2020
A weekly service will carry 53-foot domestic intermodal containers between Tampa and Brownsville, Texas, for cross-border shipments between the United States and Mexico.
08 Oct 2020
As capacity tightens at the US-Mexico border, truckload carrier CFI is building a series of consolidation centers to expand its efforts to capture Mexico-bound less-than-truckload freight and provide shippers with more capacity.
15 Sep 2020
By acquiring a Chicago-based logistics provider and freight broker from R.R. Donnelley, Canada’s TFI plans to better integrate and scale US operations in freight and e-commerce.
31 Aug 2020
As e-commerce booms on both sides of the US-Canadian border, Purolator International expands northbound next-day air service between the countries.
15 Jul 2020
Moroun made the trucking real estate deal of the century when he acquired the Ambassador Bridge in 1979 and shaped the flow of goods between the US and Canada for decades.
29 Jun 2020
Bankrupt Comcar sells its dry-van and refrigerated trucking subsidiary to Canada’s largest transportation company, which is expanding its presence in the United States.
24 Jun 2020
Mexican businesses and their US and Canadian partners are focused on rebuilding supply chains shattered by COVID-19 and the recession, but they shouldn’t forget USMCA.
12 Jun 2020
The addition of Gusgo Transport to its operating subsidiaries gives TFI deeper access to international containerized freight moving between the US and Canada.
26 May 2020
Produce shipments from western and southern US states provoked a refrigerated spot rate spike in May, and some truck shortages in California.
07 Jan 2020
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement may speed the processing of goods at US borders, but won’t necessarily speed transportation at the congested Mexican border, experts warn. That will require further investment in infrastructure and technology.
10 Oct 2019
A bigger footprint in El Paso, Texas, will help the freight forwarding arm of Deutsche Post DHL reach more shippers in the US and Mexico.
16 Sep 2019
Chicago-based Forager last week became the latest logistics technology startup to take aim at the increasingly complex US cross-border trucking market.
02 Aug 2019
Centralized cargo consolidation makes Mexico City dominant in industrial development, but growing port volumes may change that over time.
02 Aug 2019
Terminal operators at Mexican ports say they need to work more closely with rails and truckers, and have better coordination with cargo owners to reduce shipping delays.
Mexico trucking benchmarks to launch in August
19 Jul 2019
A new truck rate benchmarking program designed to give Mexican shippers their first scientifically-created rate comparisons will be available next month, compiled by Chainalytics and a Mexican partner.
15 Jul 2019
Cross-border truck traffic between Mexico and the United States is rising, and shipping costs are likely to increase as delays tighten border capacity.
08 Jul 2019
A large share of US-bound Mexican freight is shoved through an increasingly tight funnel of truck lanes vulnerable to freight surges, migration crises, and trade disputes.
Rising US-Mexico trade squeezes Laredo truck capacity
02 Jul 2019
Monterrey-based aluminum manufacturer Riisa wants to increase exports to the US but must deal with local capacity shortages and logistics challenges in Laredo, the largest US truck border crossing.
JOC Mexico Trade Conference 2019
26 Jun 2019
JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy on US-Mexico border congestion, a topic to be explored further July 30-31 in Mexico City at the JOC Mexico Trade Conference.
12 Jun 2019
Canadian shippers preparing for the upcoming electronic logging device mandate have a good model in the US experience.
04 Jun 2019
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is calling for the expansion of the NAFTA free-trade zone throughout the Americas, as well as improvements in labor productivity at home.
04 Jun 2019
US shippers facing a new 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods are expected to rush goods north before a June 10 deadline. That could create more costly congestion.
03 Jun 2019
With uncertainty surrounding US-Mexico relations, including threats of border shutdowns, tariffs and a Congressional showdown the US-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA-NAFTA 2), shippers are expressing more interest in all-water options to bypass any congestion on the border.
21 May 2019
Transloading or cross-docking helps expedite northbound freight as cross-border capacity imbalances and delays become more frequent.
16 May 2019
Shippers need contingency plans, and action, to deal with the threat of more truck congestion and freight delays at the US-Mexico border, logistics executives tell JOC.com.
16 Apr 2019
Ryder urges shippers to apply for expedited clearance to mitigate disruption from US-Mexico cross-border congestion as it adds equipment and builds out its truck yards and warehousing space near the border.
08 Apr 2019
President Trump’s threats to shut down the US-Mexico border grabbed headlines last week, but freight congestion caused by a shift in Customs resources to handle a surge immigration is already costing US importers millions of dollars each day.
04 Apr 2019
With cross-border freight already delayed and logistics costs rising, businesses must plan for a potential closure of the US-Mexico border threatened by President Trump.
28 Mar 2019
Canadian shippers dependent on smaller trucking companies may be at risk of capacity shortages and higher costs as Canada’s ELD mandate draws closer.
19 Feb 2019
After doubling revenue through mergers in two years, specialized flatbed operator will double down on services, building back-office links among subsidiaries.
Port of Veracruz.
02 Jan 2019
Mexico faces a wealth of uncertainty as it enters 2019, but it is unlikely to unravel the trade sector’s strength.
A Manitoulin truck.
17 Dec 2018
The Manitoulin Group of Companies acquired the book of business of one company and partnered with its parent company to broaden its coverage in northwest Canada.
A highway in Alaska.
11 Dec 2018
Port, rail, and highway projects are among 91 grants distributed by the US Department of Transportation, including for the extension of port berths and terminals and inland port rail access.
A Texas oil and gas well.
26 Nov 2018
The acquisition of a Houston-based logistics operator helps Manitoulin's forwarding arm link key energy markets in the United States and Canada to better serve international clients.

Commentary

Opening up the possibility of a break in free trade among the United States, Mexico, and Canada would be costly on many levels.

More Commentary