NAFTA Trade Has a Record Decline

NAFTA surface transportation trade fell 27.2%, year-over-year, in January, say the most current statistics.

The decline is the largest percentage drop on record for trade between the US and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico. Over the last three quarters of 2008, trade has been declining when compared to 2007. October was down 2.1%, November off 13.8% and December declined 13.1%.

Month-to-month, trade was down 10.3% in January from December. NAFTA trade in January 2009 totaled $47.5 billion which is the lowest monthly amount since January 2004.

The largest decline year-over-year, came in trade between the US and Canada. Surface trade between the two countries was $29.0 billion, a decline of 31.1%. The value of imports moving by truck was 31.3% lower, exports were 27.2% lower. Year-over-year trade between Mexico and the US was down 20.0%, totaling $18.5 billion. Truck imports were 20.5% lower and the value of exports was down by 10.7%.

In order, the top five states trading with Canada are Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas and Ohio. The top five trading with Mexico are Texas, California, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois.

Statistical data on trade between NAFTA partners focuses most on movement by truck, rail and pipeline, since 88% of trade moves by land. The data is furnished by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the US Department of Transportation.

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