NAFTA Trade with Canada and Mexico Jumps Nearly 40 Percent

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 39.5% higher in May 2010 than in May 2009, reaching $66.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The increase was the largest percentage year over year increase in total U.S.-NAFTA trade by surface modes on record back to April 1994. May was the third month in the last four with a record percentage year-over-year increase.

According to BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in May 2010 remained 9.9% below the May 2008 level despite the 2009-2010 increase. North American surface freight value rose 1.5% in May 2010 from April 2010. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. In May, 86.2% of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in May was up 15.4% compared to May 2005, and up 36.2% compared to May 2000, a period of 10 years. Imports in May were up 31.8% compared to May 2000, while exports were up 41.8%.

U.S.–Canada surface transportation trade totaled $40.2 billion in May, up 37.5% compared to May 2009. The value of imports carried by truck was 32.0% higher in May 2010 compared to May 2009, while the value of exports carried by truck was 34.5% higher during this period. Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in May with $5.5 billion.

U.S.–Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $26.6 billion in May, up 42.7% compared to May 2009. The value of imports carried by truck was 36.1% higher in May 2010 than May 2009 while the value of exports carried by truck was 43.2% higher. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in May with $9.4 billion.

The TransBorder Freight Data are a unique subset of official U.S. foreign trade statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. New data are tabulated monthly and historical data are not adjusted for inflation. May TransBorder numbers include data received by BTS as of July 12.

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