U.S.-Mexico: Trade and Investment at a Glance

Fact Sheet
Washington, DC
May 19, 2010

The United States is Mexico’s largest trading partner and largest foreign investor. Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner after Canada and China, and is the U.S. second largest foreign supplier of petroleum. The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the busiest, most economically important borders in the world, with nearly one million legitimate travelers and nearly a billion dollars worth of goods legally crossing the border each day. Eighty percent of this trade crosses the land border on trucks and trains. Border states are not the only ones that benefit from this dynamic trade relationship--a total of 22 U.S. states have Mexico as the number one or number two destination for their exports, including California, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Much of the U.S. trade with Mexico is in intermediate inputs, which are used to finish U.S. products. The deep integration of the U.S. and Mexican economies has resulted in a cross-border production system that enhances the competitiveness of both countries. To put this in perspective, Mexico and the U.S. do as much business in just over a month as Mexico does with all 27 countries of the European Union combined in a year.
  • In 2009, U.S. goods exports to Mexico were $129 billion and U.S. goods imports from Mexico were $177 billion.
  • Since NAFTA implementation in 1994, U.S. exports to Mexico have nearly tripled and Mexican exports to the United States have more than quadrupled.
  • Roughly 80% of Mexico’s total global exports of $230 billion go to the U.S.
  • More than half of Mexico’s total global imports of $234 billion come from the U.S. and are valued at $129 billion dollars.
  • In 2009, the U.S. provided up to 80% of all inputs for Mexico’s maquiladora manufacturing and assembly firms, and 90% of all exports from Mexico’s maquiladoras returned to the U.S., translating to over $114 billion in bilateral trade.
  • Nearly 80% of Mexico’s agricultural imports come from the U.S. with an annual growth rate of almost 9% per year since the beginning of NAFTA.
  • The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Mexico, accounting for over 50% of all reported foreign direct investment.

PRN: 2010/656