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BTS says surface trade with NAFTA partners up 14.3 percent annually in 2011

By Staff
March 22, 2012

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was up 14.3 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, increasing to $904 billion, according to data released by the United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

BTS officials said the 14.3 percent annual increase is the third largest annual increase for the time it has been collecting this data, with 2010’s 24.3 percent gain over 2009 being the highest. And it added that the $904 billion in U.S.-NAFTA trade marks the highest amount since NAFTA took effect in 1994.

Surface transportation, according to the BTS, is comprised mainly of freight movements by truck, trail, and pipeline, and nearly 90 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves by land. According to the BTS 85.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land in 2011, and total North American surface transportation trade is up 42.0 percent since 2009, when it fell 23.3 percent compared to 2008.

BTS said that total North American surface transportation imports were up 13.8 percent annually in 2011, while exports were up 14.8 percent.

BTS said the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada was up 14.0 percent year-over-year in 2011 at $537 billion. Imports carried by truck were valued 10.0 percent higher in 2011 compared to 2010, said the BTS, and the value of exports carried by truck was up 12.4 percent. Michigan paced all states in surface trade with Canada in 2011 at $68.4 billion.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Mexico was up 14.6 percent year over year in 2011 at $367.1 billion. Imports carried by truck were valued 12.4 percent higher annually, said the BTS, and the value of exports carried by truck was up 14.9 percent. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in 2011 at $129 billion, marking the third time on record that a state has had more than $100 billion in trade with Mexico by surface modes of transportation in a calendar year.

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