NAFTA trade surges in March

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and Canada and Mexico was 37 percent higher in March than a year earlier, reaching $69.9 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The increase is the largest year-over-year rise on record but freight value in March remained 1.2 percent less than the value in March 2008, two years earlier.

BTS reported the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico rose 17.6 percent in March from February. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors.

U.S.-Canada surface transportation trade totaled $42.1 billion in March, up 35.6 percent from March 2009. U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $27.8 billion in March, up 39.1 percent from a year earlier.

Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. In March, 86.9 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved on land.