NAFTA trade hits monthly record in April

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Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 14.3 percent higher in April 2008 than in April 2007, reaching $74.3 billion, the highest monthly level ever recorded, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the value of North American surface trade in April topped the previous monthly high of $74.2 billion in October 2007 by 0.1 percent. The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 5.0 percent in April from March; 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; about 88 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves on land. The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in April was up 58.7 percent compared to April 2003, and up 91.8 percent compared to April 1998. Imports in April were up 106.0 percent compared to April 1998, while exports were up 75.8 percent. Data for exports to Canada by pipeline in March 2008 remain unavailable.

U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $48.9 billion in April, up 15.4 percent compared to April 2007. The value of imports carried by truck was about 1 percent higher in April 2008 than April 2007, while the value of exports carried by truck was 13.1 percent higher. Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in April with $6.4 billion.

U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $25.5 billion in April, up 12.2 percent compared to April 2007. The value of imports carried by truck was 11.8 percent higher in April 2008 than April 2007, while the value of exports carried by truck was 10.9 percent higher. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in April with $8.0 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.