NAFTA trade fell 13.8% in November 2008

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The value of trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 13.8 percent lower in November 2008 than in November 2007, dropping to $60.7 billion, the biggest year-to-year decline in almost eight years, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The 13.8 percent decline was the second-largest from the same month of the previous year since North American surface freight data collection began in April 1994. Freight value declined 14.6 percent from December 2000 to December 2001 in the post-9/11 period.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico fell 16.5 percent in November from October; 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 November was up 25.2 percent compared to November 2003, and up 53.6 percent compared to November 1998. Imports in November were up 52.6 percent compared to November 1998, while exports were up 54.9 percent.

U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $37.8 billion in November, down 16.4 percent compared to November 2007. The value of imports carried by truck was 24.3 percent lower in November 2008 compared to November 2007, while the value of exports carried by truck was 16.8 percent lower. Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in November with $4.4 billion.

U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $22.9 billion in November, down 9.0 percent compared to November 2007. The value of imports carried by truck was 19.6 percent lower in November 2008 compared to November 2007, while the value of exports carried by truck was 3.4 percent higher. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in November with $7.3 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.