The value of goods traded between the United States and its North American neighbors that moved by surface transportation increased 6.6 percent to $82.6 billion in June compared to 12 months earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said.
Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, the June trade total was $61 billion in 2004 dollars, which represents an 11 percent gain from June 2011, the Transportation Department office said.
During the past decade, U.S. surface transportation trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners increased 79 percent, with export growth outpacing imports 91 percent to 70 percent. The vast majority of goods are hauled by truck, but also move by rail, pipeline and mail. In June, 87.7 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved by land, 8.3 percent moved by vessel and 4 percent moved by air.
On a monthly basis, the value of surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico decreased 1.4 percent in June from May.
U.S. trade by surface transportation with Mexico has increased at a faster pace than trade with Canada, the BTS said. U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade in June 2012 both increased compared to June 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $48.4 billion, a 5 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $34.2 billion, an 8.8 percent increase.
Michigan led all states in surface trade with Canada, at $6.5 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from June 2011. Michigan's trade numbers reflect heavy goods traffic for the auto industry, which has many plants on both sides of the border and ships components and finished vehicles back and forth every day.
The top commodity category transported between the United States and Canada by surface modes of transportation in June was vehicles, valued at $9.9 billion.
Texas continued to lead all states in surface trade with Mexico at $12.4 billion, an 11 percent increase from June 2011. Of the top 10 states by value, Tennessee had the biggest percentage increase, 21.1 percent, primarily because of a 31 percent increase from June 2011 in trade in computer-related machinery. The top commodity category transported between the United States and Mexico by surface modes in June was electrical machinery ($7 billion). - Eric Kulisch