The Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the Department of Transportation in the US has announced an increase in surface transportation trade between the country and its NAFTA partners, Mexico and Canada. BTS is part of Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
North American Free Trade Agreement was put into effect on January 1, 1994, raising the economic potential among Mexico, Canada and the United States of America. All remaining quantitative restrictions and duties were eliminated by January 1, 2008. The agreement led to one of the largest free trade zones in the world. Since then, NAFTA has delivered tangible benefits to different groups of people in the three nations, including manufacturers, consumers, workers, farmers and families.
The NAFTA nations trade about US$2.6 billion worth of goods every day, which translates to about US$108 million every hour. The largest trade categories include mineral fuel and oil, vehicles, electrical machinery and precious stones.
When BTS compared surface transportation trade in January 2011 to January 2012, there was an 11.5 percent rise at $75.5 billion. The value increased by 82.8 percent, 15.9 percent and 59.2 percent compared to January 2002, 2008 and 2009 respectively. Between December 2011 and January 2012, the value of trade rose 1.8 percent. A variety of factors such as seasonal variations may lead to month-to-month changes.
Exports between the US and its NAFTA partners rose 96.5 percent while imports rose 72.7 percent between January 2002 and January 2012.
Taking all transportation modes into consideration, US-Mexico trade and US-Canada trade accounted for 12.8 percent and 16.2 percent respectively of the total trade between the US and the world. Comparing January 2011 and January 2012, US-Mexico trade rose 14.3 percent, totaling $31.4 billion while US-Canada trade rose 9.6 percent to $44.1 billion.
In surface trade alone, Texas made the highest trade with Mexico, registering a rise of 20.1 percent from January 2011 at $11.5 billion. The state that led in US-Canada trade within the same period was Michigan, which recorded a rise of 14 percent at $5.6 billion.
Surface transportation involves freight movements by Free Trade Zones, rail, truck, pipeline and mail. In January 2012, air transport accounted for 3.9 percent of trade value between the US and NAFTA partners. Vessels accounted for 9.8 percent while land accounted for 86.3 percent within the same period.
The American Maritime Partnership said American vessels have the capacity required to transport petroleum from the Mexican Gulf. AMP issued the notification following the omission of important data on the overall capacity of domestic shipping industry in a federal analysis.
The reassurance came in the wake of concerns about the closure of refineries in the Northeast, which is expected to create changes in the petroleum market.
Several Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes have been opened along the US-Mexic0 border, which covers about 1,952 miles, to facilitate trade between the two countries. Binational Bridges and Border Crossings Group was formed to discuss border crossings. Although there have been a number of hitches in cross-border trucking, surface transportation between the two countries has growth such that there are door-to-door companies serving the needs of both individuals and businesses.
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