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The US deficit with Mexico jumped last year because of US exports underperforming US imports. Here trucks crossing the US border. (Photo: US Department of Transport)
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Trade Talk

US-Mexico Trade Grew 0.5% Last Year


U.S. trade with Mexico inches up, declines with Latin America overall.

BY LATINVEX STAFF

Despite uncertainty around the future of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), U.S-Mexico trade inched up by 0.5 percent last year to $614.5 billion, according to new data from the US Census Bureau analyzed by Latinvex.

As a result, Mexico was the top trade partner for the United States, ahead of Canada ($612.4 billion) and China ($558.9 billion).

However, U.S. trade with the rest of Latin America declined 5.2 percent to $271.4 billion. As a result, total trade with Latin America fell 1.3 percent to $885.9 billion.

U.S. exports to Mexico reached $256.4 billion, down 3.4 percent from 2018. Meanwhile, U.S. imports from Mexico totaled $358.1 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent.

As a result, the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico jumped 26 percent to $101.8 billion, or $21 billion more compared with 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly – and erroneously – claimed that trade deficits were a loss to the United States, even though they actually reflect the difference between domestic demand for foreign goods and foreign demand for U.S. goods.

He has used trade deficits as an argument to impose several tariffs on China and threatened to do so against Mexico both before and after he became president in January 2017. (See this timeline for U.S. tariffs against China since February 2018).

 

US-Latin America Trade

Millions of US dollars. Change from 2018

Market

Exports

Ch

Imports

Ch

Total

Ch

Mexico

256,374

(3.40%)

358,126

3.50%

614,500

0.50%

South/Central America

162,567

(1%)

108,852

(10.90%)

271,419

(5.20%)

Total

418,941

(2.50%)

466,978

(0.30%)

885,919

(1.30%)

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Latinvex (change, totals)

 

 

 

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