U.S. air trade with NAFTA partners - Statistics & Facts

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed on December 17, 1992 between the U.S., Canada and Mexico with the goal of liberalizing trade in goods and services between each member states through the elimination tariffs and non-tariffs. As of 2016, North America experienced the second largest cargo traffic at airports with more than 35 million tons handled, second only to the Asia-Pacific region.

In August 2017, the overall export value of US-NAFTA air freight flows stood at around 2.13 billion U.S. dollars while import values amounted to about 1.65 billion U.S. dollars. The main commodities transported by air between the U.S. and Canada were electrical machinery equipment and parts, computer-related machinery and parts, as well as measuring and testing instruments. They accounted for a combined total of more than 50 percent of the value of commodities traded between both nations in 2016. In that same year, the total commodities imported into the U.S from Canada amounted to over 11 billion U.S. dollars.

Between the U.S. and Mexico, the leading commodities transported by air between both nations were electrical machinery equipment and parts, pearl, stones, metals and imitation jewelry, as well as computer-related machinery and parts. These commodities accounted for a combined total of 64 percent of the air trade value between the U.S. and Mexico in that year. The total value of commodities exported to Mexico from the U.S. in 2016 stood at approximately 8.7 billion U.S. dollars.

A large drop in the price of crude oil and petroleum price in 2016 caused a 3.3 percent decline—in comparison to the previous year—in the total value of U.S. freight trade with NAFTA partners also affecting the value of commodities moved by air between the U.S. and the other NAFTA members in that year.

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