More bad data: NAFTA surface trade plummets in February

Canada needs to sell stuff to the U.S. and Mexico in order to prosper so this is not good news, released a few minutes ago by the U.S. Department of Transportation: “Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 30.9 percent lower in February 2009 than in February 2008, dropping to $47.9 billion, the biggest year-to-year percentage decline on record.”

Canada-U.S. surface trade — mostly on trucks but some on ships and some via pipelines — was just over $33 billion in February, compared to $48.9 billion in the same month last year, a drop of 32.5 per cent. The value of total trade by pipeline (that would be oil and natural gas) was about $7 billion in February last year and that had just about halved in value this February to $3.7 billion.

U.S.A bound truck traffic was down 32 per cent; Canada-bound truck traffic was down 28 per cent.

Canadian imports from the U.S. — that would be mostly be consumers shopping on the Internet — was only down 11 per cent. How much did Canadians export by mail in February: Nada.

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