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U.S. Trade: Mexico Better Than Brazil

US trade with Mexico is falling less than with Latin America and Brazil.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Trade will be one of the top issues at the North American Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico Sunday and Monday.

Mexican president Felipe Calderon is expected to again urge U.S. President Barack Obama to re-instate the Bush-era rules that allowed Mexican trucks to cross into the United States, as the North American Free Trade Agreement calls for.

While U.S. trade with Mexico has been hurt by the economic crisis in the two countries, new data shows that Mexico is faring better than Latin America overall and the other top U.S. trading partners in the region.

FIRST FIVE MONTHS

During the first five months, U.S. trade with Mexico reached $113.9 billion, a 24.7 percent decline from the same period last year. By comparison, U.S. trade with Latin America fell by 26.7 percent to $187.9 billion and trade with Brazil - the second-largest U.S. partner in the region -- declined by 26.2 percent to $17.5 billion, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  

Mexico also does better than Chile, Colombia and Venezuela - the other top trading partners in Latin America. U.S. trade with Chile fell by 26.7 percent during the first five months to $6.6 billion, by 26.3 percent with Colombia to $7.5 billion and by 42.7 percent with Venezuela to $13.9 billion.

MAY 2009

In May alone, U.S. trade with Mexico fell by 27 percent to $22.7 billion. Again that compares favorably with U.S. trade with Latin America (down by 29.8 percent to $38.0 billion) and Brazil (down by 32.5 percent to $3.5 billion).

Meanwhile, U.S. trade with Chile fell by 37.8 percent to $1.2 billion, by 34.5 percent with Colombia to $1.5 billion and by 47.6 percent with Venezuela to $3.0 billion, according to the Latin Business Chronicle analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.   

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