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Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 80.9 Percent since Start of NAFTA

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 80.9 Percent since Start of NAFTA

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BTS 33-04
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, December 7 - In the ten years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect, trade using surface transportation between the United States and its partners, Canada and Mexico, has grown more than 80 percent and as of September is valued at $54.9 billion, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation reported today (Table 1).

Surface transportation consists of freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline and other modes of surface transportation. About 90 percent of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico moves by surface transportation.

Total surface transportation trade value was up 80.9 percent from September 1994 and 29.3 percent from September 2001 (Table 1). Exports increased 57.3 percent compared to September 1994 while imports over that same time rose 103.7 percent (Table 1).

The $54.9 billion in surface transportation trade in September was 12.4 percent more than in September 2003 (Table 2). Total surface transportation trade rose 2.5 percent in September 2004 from August 2004 (Table 3). Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada

U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade rose 12.5 percent in September from September 2003 to $35.4 billion. Exports by truck, the largest amount by value, increased 11.8 percent from September 2003, while imports by truck rose 8.2 percent (Table 4).

Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada in September with $6.0 billion (Table 5).

U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico

U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade rose 12.1 percent in September from September 2003 to $19.5 billion. Imports by truck, the largest amount by value, increased 12.8 percent from September 2003 while exports by truck rose 10.0 percent (Table 6).

Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in September with $6.4 billion (Table 7).

The Transborder Surface Freight Dataset is a special extract of the official U.S. foreign trade statistics. The data are tabulated for BTS monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division. September transborder numbers include data received by BTS as of Nov. 15.

The press release and summary tables can be found at www.bts.gov. More information on transborder freight data and data from previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://www.bts.gov/transborder/. BTS will release October transborder numbers on January 4th.

Table 1: Percent Changes of North American Surface Transportation Trade, Imports and Exports by Value from Previous Years to 2004

(September and September)

Excel | CSV

Percent change to September 2004
Compared to the same month in. Import Export Total Surface Trade
2003 12.0 12.9 12.4
2002 20.1 19.7 19.9
2001 28.5 30.3 29.3
2000 12.4 10.8 11.7
1999 29.8 22.6 26.6
1998 46.4 31.7 39.8
1997 58.0 33.8 46.7
1996 66.7 47.7 58.0
1995 83.8 61.7 73.7
1994 103.7 57.3 80.9

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 2: North American Surface Transportation Trade by Value

(millions of dollars)

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Month 2003 2004 Percent Change 2003-2004
January 43,756 45,686 4.4
February 43,835 48,170 9.9
March 49,358 56,269 14.0
April 46,842 53,195 13.6
May 48,813 53,155 8.9
June 47,432 55,422 16.9
July 42,607 48,096 12.9
August 45,024 53,577 19.0
September 48,867 54,913 12.4
October 52,362    
November 48,456    
December 45,425    
Year to Date 416,534 468,483 12.5
Annual 562,780    

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 3: U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada and Mexico by Mode

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

    September 2003 August 2004 September 2004 Percent Change Aug.-Sept. 2004 Percent Change September 2003-2004
By All Modes Imports 28,099 31,242 31,458 0.7 12.0
Exports 20,769 22,335 23,455 5.0 12.9
Total 48,867 53,577 54,913 2.5 12.4
By Truck Imports 18,694 20,309 20,596 1.4 10.2
Exports 16,813 18,098 18,689 3.3 11.2
By Rail Imports 6,058 6,756 6,858 1.5 13.2
Exports 2,256 2,348 2,669 13.7 18.3
By Pipeline Imports 2,364 3,228 3,072 -4.8 29.9
Exports 55 40 141 253.0 154.1

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: The value of all surface modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail and pipeline modes. The value of trade for all surface modes includes shipments made by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, foreign trade zones, other and unknown modes of transportation.  For additional detail refer to the Transborder Surface Freight data "Sources and Reliability" statement:http://www.bts.gov/ntda/tbscd/srfin.html

Table 4: U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Canada by Mode

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

    September 2003 August 2004 September 2004 Percent Change Aug.-Sept. 2004 Percent Change September 2003-2004
By All Modes Imports 18,213 20,414 20,441 0.1 12.2
Exports 13,238 13,934 14,943 7.2 12.9
Total 31,451 34,348 35,385 3.0 12.5
By Truck Imports 10,667 11,424 11,545 1.1 8.2
Exports 10,606 11,129 11,861 6.6 11.8
By Rail Imports 4,407 5,031 5,082 1.0 15.3
Exports 1,211 1,289 1,452 12.7 19.9
By Pipeline Imports 2,364 3,228 3,072 -4.8 29.9
Exports 52 33 121 264.0 131.8

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 5: Top 10 States Trading with Canada by Surface Transportation, ranked by September 2004 Surface Transportation Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

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September 2004 Rank State September 2004
1 Michigan 6,026
2 New York 2,400
3 Ohio 2,377
4 California 2,304
5 Illinois 2,254
6 Texas 1,453
7 Pennsylvania 1,311
8 Indiana 1,176
9 Washington 1,172
10 Tennessee 1,008

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 6: U.S. Surface Transportation Trade with Mexico By Mode

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

    September 2003 August 2004 September 2004 Percent Change Aug.-Sept. 2004 Percent Change September 2003-2004
By All Modes Imports 9,855 10,828 11,017 1.7 11.4
Exports 7,531 8,400 8,512 1.3 13.0
Total 17,416 19,228 19,528 1.6 12.1
By Truck Imports 8,027 8,885 9,051 1.9 12.8
Exports 6,207 6,969 6,828 -2.0 10.0
By Rail Imports 1,651 1,726 1,776 2.9 7.6
Exports 1,046 1,059 1,217 14.9 16.4
By Pipeline Imports 0 0 0 NA NA
Exports 3 7 20 198.3 503.3

Key: NA = not applicable

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/

Table 7: Top 10 States Trading with Mexico by Surface Transportation, ranked by September 2004 Surface Transportation Trade Value

(millions of dollars)

Excel | CSV

September 2004 Rank State September 2004
1 Texas 6,385
2 California 3,513
3 Michigan 2,179
4 Illinois 597
5 Ohio 508
6 Arizona 480
7 Indiana 473
8 Tennessee 465
9 North Carolina 396
10 New York 362

Source: BTS Transborder Surface Freight Dataset, http://www.bts.gov/transborder/