Mexico has now become the United States’ biggest trading partner, with economists expecting the modified North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to increase trade even more.
NAFTA will be replaced by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreeement (USMCA) after negotiations concluded last year, with the new treaty still to be ratified by the three countries.
Mexico accounts for 15% of all US trade worldwide, surpassing China and Canada, according to data released by the US Census Bureau earlier this month.
The trade volume increased to US$97.4 billion in January and February of this year as President Trump continued to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.
US importers are becoming more dependent on their Mexican suppliers despite Trump threatening to close his country’s southern border amid a growing outcry over illegal immigration.
Mexican exports to the US increased by US$3 billion during the first two months of the year compared with the same period last year.
In contrast, US trade with China decreased by more than 10% in January and February, compared to the same months of 2018.
Cross-border goods traffic between the US and Mexico is on the increase as a result of an integrated manufacturing system put in place by multinationals operating in the free-trade zone.