Globally, the United States imported $1.95 trillion and exported $1.16 trillion of goods in 2007. U.S. exports increased at a faster pace than imports—exports were 12.1 percent higher in 2007 than in 2006, compared to a 5.3 percent growth in imports1. Transportation-related goods reflect this pattern. The value of exports of transportation-related goods increased 15 percent, while imports increased 2 percent (Table 2-4-1: U.S. International Trade in Transportation- Related Goods). The United States is a net exporter of aviation, maritime, and railway goods. However, the United States had a significant trade deficit in vehicles, which results in an overall deficit for transportation-related goods (Table 2-4-2: U.S. Trade in Transportation-Related Goods by Commodity).
Of the $3.1 trillion in total U.S. trade, 45 percent moved by vessel, 25 percent by air, and 30 percent by surface and other modes2. U.S. maritime container exports increased 16.4 percent, whereas imports decreased 0.5 percent from 2006 to 2007 (Table 2-4-12: U.S.-International Maritime Container Volumes). For the first time in recent years, the deficit in the U.S. maritime container trade balance declined.
Surface transportation trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 4.9 percent higher in 2007 than in 2006, reaching $797 billion. This 4.9 percent increase is lower than the 8.9 percent increase in U.S.–NAFTA trade in 2006 compared to 20053. About 88 percent of the $909 billion in U.S. merchandise trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land modes in 2007. Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail, and pipeline. Besides the land movements, there were $74 billion of vessel movements and $38 billion of air movements between the United States and its NAFTA partners in 20074.
In 2007, the number of passenger crossings by personal vehicle into the United States decreased by 8 percent (Table 2-4-8: Passenger Crossings Into the United States by Personal Vehicles From Mexico and Canada). Specifically, passenger crossings on the Canadian and Mexican Borders were down 8.2 and 7.5 percent, respectively. Vehicle crossings on the Canadian Border were down slightly in 2007 compared to 2006, with personal vehicle traffic (29.8 million in 2007) entering the United States down 0.9 percent and truck traffic (6.6 million in 2007) down 1.4 percent (Table 2-4-5: Incoming Truck Crossings to the United States From Mexico and Canada). On the Mexican Border, comparing 2007 with 2006, personal vehicle traffic (81.8 million in 2007) dropped by 7.4 percent, while truck traffic (4.9 million in 2007) increased by 2.6 percent
2 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Research and Innovative Technology (RITA), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), TransBorder Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/ as of Nov. 25, 2008.
3 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Research and Innovative Technology (RITA), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), TransBorder Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/ as of Nov. 25, 2008.
4 USDOT/RITA/BTS, Border Crossing Data, available at http://www.bts.gov/programs/international/border_crossing_entry_data/ as of Nov. 25, 2008.(Table 2-4-5: Incoming Truck Crossings to the United States From Mexico and Canada). Further, passenger crossings into the United States by train decreased by 5 percent (Table 2-4-10: Passenger Crossings Into the United States by Train From Mexico and Canada). However, passenger crossings by bus into the United States increased by 5.8 percent from 2006 to 2007 (Table 2-4-9: Passenger Crossings Into the United States by Bus From Mexico and Canada). In addition, the total number of pedestrian crossings into the United States increased by 6.8 percent from 2006 to 2007 (Table 2-4-11: Pedestrian Crossings Into the United States From Mexico and Canada). All of the increase occurred on the Mexican border; a 7.1 percent increase in pedestrians crossing the Mexican Border entirely accounted for this increase. On the Canadian Border, pedestrian crossings decreased slightly by 1.2 percent.