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BTS releases North American surface trade numbers for May

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 8.3 percent higher in May 2012 than in May 2011, totaling $83.8 billion, unadjusted for inflation, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the May 2012 total was $60.7 billion in 2004 dollars, up 11.7 percent from May 2011. BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the May 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 13.0 percent from May 2008, six months into the recession, and 75.0 percent from May 2009, late in the recession. Data are not adjusted for inflation, except for monthly totals in Figure 1 of the press release. The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in May increased by 72.6 percent compared to May 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in May were up 62.5 percent since May 2002, while exports were up 85.9 percent.  Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones, and other modes of transport. In May, 86.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.6 percent moved by vessel, and 3.8 percent moved by air. U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased at a faster pace than trade with Canada. U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade in May 2012 both increased compared to May 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $48.1 billion, a 4.0 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $35.6 billion, a 14.9 percent increase. For trade statistics by mode, see Table 4 of the press release for Canada and Table 6 for Mexico. See BTS Transborder Data Release for summary tables, state rankings and additional data. See North American Transborder Freight Data for historical data.