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Mexico: Direction of Trade
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Foreign Trade > Direction of Trade


Largely as a result of trade liberalization, two-way trade between Mexico and the United States doubled between 1986 and 1990. In the late 1980s, Mexico expanded its exports to the United States at an average annual rate of 15 percent. Even prior to NAFTA, more than 85 percent of Mexican exports entered the United States duty-free.

In 1994 the value of two-way United States-Mexico trade amounted to more than US$100 billion. Mexico exported US$53 billion worth of products to the United States and imported US$56 billion worth of United States goods. Mexico's commercial reliance on the United States has increased in recent years, despite efforts to diversify its export markets and import sources. In 1994 the United States took 85 percent of all Mexican exports (up from 83 percent in 1993). Sales to Mexico accounted for only 8 percent of all United States exports in 1991. Sales to Canada amounted to more than US$1.5 billion, or 2 percent of Mexican exports in 1994; sales to Japan amounted to US$997 million, or less than 2 percent. Spain, Germany, and France together accounted for nearly US$2 billion, or 3 percent, of Mexico's export revenue in 1994. In 1994 the United States provided 69 percent of Mexico's imports, Japan 6 percent, Germany 4 percent, Canada 2 percent, and France 2 percent.

Mexico's sales to other Latin American countries totaled US$2.9 billion in 1993, a 65 percent increase over 1988. Nevertheless, these sales constituted only some 10 percent of Mexico's total exports by value. Two-way trade between Mexico and the rest of Latin America increased to about 250 percent between 1988 and 1993. Mexico's most important trading partners in Latin America were Argentina and Brazil.

Data as of June 1996

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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