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NAFTA numbers tumble

WASHINGTON — Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 27.9 percent lower in March 2009 than in March 2008, dropping to $51.1 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. March was the third consecutive month with a yearly decline of greater than 27 percent.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 6.5 percent in March 2009 from February 2009. However, the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in March was down 9.3 percent compared to March 2004, and up 17.4 percent compared to March 1999, a period of 10 years.

Imports in March were up 11.9 percent compared to March 1999, while exports were up 24.3 percent.

U.S.–Canada surface transportation trade totaled $31 billion in March, down 34.2 percent compared to March 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 26.8 percent lower in March 2009 compared to March 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 25.1 percent lower during this period.

U.S.–Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $20 billion in March, down 15.1 percent compared to March 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 15.5 percent lower in March 2009 than March 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 6.4 percent lower.

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