The total value of cross-border trade between the United States and its partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rose 3.6 percent year-over-year in September, but the future of NAFTA still remains unclear.
U.S.-NAFTA trade totaled $844.8 billion for the first nine months of 2017, up 5.9 percent year-over-year.s.
The total value of cross-border trade between the United States and its partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which include Canada and Mexico, stood at $94.4 billion in September, a 3.6 percent boost from 12 months prior, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The September result also marked the 11th straight month in which the year-over-year value in current dollars of U.S.-NAFTA freight increased from the same month the previous year.
Broken down by transportation mode in September, compared to 12 months earlier, the value of commodities moving by:
• Vessel increased 28.6 percent;
• Pipeline increased 9.1 percent;
• Truck increased 2.9 percent;
• Rail decreased 3.3 percent;
• And air decreased by 3.4 percent.
The sharp increase in the value of goods moving by vessel can partially be attributed to an increase in the unit value and a 6.1 percent boost in the volumes of mineral fuels added, the BTS said.
Trucks continued to be the most common method of transportation for moving goods to and from both Canada and Mexico in September. During the month, trucks accounted for $31 billion of the $50.2 billion of imports (61.8 percent) from Canada and Mexico, and $29.7 billion of the $44.2 billion of exports (67.2 percent) from the two countries.
Rail was the second largest mode by value, moving 14.9 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel at 6.7 percent, pipeline at 5.2 percent and air at 3.9 percent.
Overall, U.S.-NAFTA trade totaled $844.8 billion for the first nine months of 2017, a 5.9 percent uptick from the corresponding 2016 period.
However, there is still looming uncertainty regarding the future of the trade agreement, as the three countries made little headway earlier this month in renegotiating a revised NAFTA during the fifth round of negotiation talks.
More meetings will be held in Washington, D.C. in December, but the next formal round of negotiations is not scheduled until Jan. 23-28 in Montreal, Canada.