Year-over-year NAFTA trade up 12.1% in April

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Nafta Trade Chart

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 12.1 percent higher in April 2011 than in April 2010, reaching $73.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in April 2011 rose 48.3 percent in two years from April 2009 but remained 0.7 percent below the early recession level of April 2008.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in April was up 19.5 percent compared to April 2006, and up 57.6 percent compared to April 2001. Imports in April were up 48.3 percent compared to April 2001, while exports were up 70.0 percent. Freight value in April 2011 fell 8.7 percent from March 2011; month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade both increased when compared to April 2010, with U.S.-Canada totaling $44.6 billion, an 11.8 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico totaling $29.1 billion, a 12.4 percent increase. Michigan continued to lead all states in surface trade with Canada at $5.8 billion, up 6.6 percent from April 2010, while Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $10.1 billion, up 10.8 percent from April 2010.

The top three commodities imported from Canada and Mexico have remained the same over the last year. The top three commodities imported from Canada by all land modes in April were mineral fuels, oils and waxes; vehicles; and computer-related machinery and parts, totaling $12 billion. The top three commodities imported from Mexico by all land modes in April were vehicles, computer-related machinery and electrical machinery and parts, totaling $10.5 billion.

The largest increase in U.S.-Canada commodity in the last year was mineral fuels, oils and waxes, up 17.0 percent, and the largest increase in U.S.-Mexico trade was computer-related machinery and parts, up 18.2 percent. Electrical machinery, vehicles, and computer-related machinery and parts are exported from the United States to be assembled in Canada and Mexico, and then imported back to the U.S. as finished goods.

The top three commodities exported to Canada and Mexico by all land modes are vehicles, computer-related machinery and electrical machinery and parts, totaling $9.4 billion for Canada and $5.8 billion for Mexico. These top three commodities exported to Canada and Mexico remained the same over the last year. The commodities that increased the most in U.S.-Canada trade were computer-related machinery, up 16.6 percent, and in U.S.-Mexico trade were electrical machinery and parts, up 21.4 percent.

The TransBorder Freight Data are a 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. Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones and other modes. In April, 84.7 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land, 11.1 percent moved by vessel, and 4.2 percent moved by air.