Mexico once again No. 1 US trade partner

Mexico is again the top trading partner of the United States, with two-way trade totaling $290.6 billion from January through July.

The ongoing US-China trade spat and subsequent U.S. tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese goods, helped catapult Mexico back to No. 1 in July. 

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Mexico’s exports to the U.S. totaled $173.1 billion for the first seven months of the year. Mexican imports from the U.S. totaled $117.5 billion during the same period.

Canada was the second-ranked trade partner for the U.S. through July, totaling $288 billion, followed by China at $280 billion.

From January through June, China was the U.S.’s top-ranked trade partner, as U.S. trade with Mexico declined from the shutdown of the cross-border automotive production industry in April and May.

Recent data from Mexico’s National Statistics Agency (INEGI) shows production and exports of Mexican automotive goods gathered steam in July, however, after the coronavirus lockdown was loosened.

The production of passenger vehicles recovered slightly by producing 294,946 units in July, 0.65% above the 293,035 during the same period in 2019.

Most auto companies with factories in Mexico reported increases in production during July, according to INEGI, including BMW, which increased manufacturing by 229%, Ford by 58.6%, and General Motors by 6.2%.

Mexico exported 256,098 vehicles in July, a 5.47% decrease compared to the same month in 2019. However, both manufacturing and exports of passenger cars plummeted from March through May, with the month of May recording a 90% decrease in year-over-year auto production. 

Port Laredo, Texas, was the No. 1-ranked U.S. trade gateway with Mexico, totaling $105.45 billion through July, according to data compiled by WorldCity

The top 10 U.S. trade ports with Mexico included:

  1. Port Laredo, $105.45 billion
  2. Otay Mesa Freeway Border Crossing, California, $23.42 billion
  3. El Paso Border Crossing, Texas, $21.43 billion
  4. Pharr International Bridge in Texas, $17.26 billion
  5. Santa Teresa Border Crossing, New Mexico, $14.12 billion
  6. Eagle Pass, Texas, $14.08 billion
  7. Nogales Border Crossing, Arizona, $13.58 billion
  8. Brownsville International Bridges, Texas, $8.4 billion
  9. Calexico/Mexicali (East) Border Crossing, California, $8.3 billion
  10. Port of Houston $5.29 billion

Through July, the top exports from the U.S. to Mexico included gasoline/fuel ($10.07 billion), computer chips ($6.65 billion), auto parts ($6.31 billion) and computer parts ($4.65 billion).

Key imports from Mexico into the U.S. included computers ($14.92 billion), passenger vehicles ($14.5 billion), commercial vehicles ($11.18 billion), motor vehicle parts ($10.83 billion) and oil ($5.17 billion). 

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