Automotive industry dominates U.S. exports

The U.S. automotive industry exports the most: $126.7 billion in 2021, of which 70% was accounted for by Canada and Mexico.

Regarding U.S. trade, the following are additional noteworthy data on North American automotive trade patterns.

Automotive trade (vehicle/parts imports + exports) is the largest component of North American trade, accounting for 22% of total trade in the Mexico-U.S.-Canada (USMCA) Agreement region.

U.S. auto trade (by dollar value, including vehicles/parts and imports/exports) with Canada and Mexico increased steadily from $159 billion in 2010 to its peak in 2019 at $264 billion, an increase of 66 percent.

While total North American auto trade fell to $206 billion in 2020, it has proven resilient, rebounding to $225 billion in 2021.

The combined U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico grew from $33 billion in 2010 to $87 billion in 2021.

Automotive Industry

In 2021, the United States unexpectedly recorded an automotive trade surplus (vehicles and parts) with Canada, the first total U.S. trade surplus with Canada in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, the U.S. automotive trade deficit with Mexico declined slightly in 2020, but saw an increase in 2021 to $80.5 billion, a level approaching the peak trade deficit with Mexico set in 2019 ($82.5 billion).

Considering the above data, the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) believes that the integration of the North American automotive sector is critical to ensure the global competitiveness of this industry in the United States.

The region’s economic and trade integration began more than 50 years ago with the 1965 U.S.-Canada Automotive Pact.

It was then expanded in 1994 with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which added Mexico, and continues today with the USMCA.


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