Mexico falls to third place among the United States' trading partners

The country is once again the third largest ally of the North American nation after the fall recorded in 2020 due to the drop in imports and exports

REUTERS/DANIEL BECERRIL  -   Border customs at the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

For the first time in 18 months, Mexico has once again recorded a fall in economic agreements with the United States, in which it now finds itself as the third largest trading partner of the country governed by Joe Biden. The latest figures record that in November 2021 the value of trade between the two nations was $58.7 billion.  

The US Census Bureau (Census), an agency within the country's Department of Commerce, revealed this figure, as well as pointing out that, right now, Mexico is below China and Canada. According to this news, the Asian country is the first and main partner of the North American nation, which has managed to collect 64,000 million dollars. It is followed by its northern neighbour, Canada, whose trade amounted to 61.4 billion dollars in the last year. In fourth place is Japan, followed by Germany as the US economy's fifth largest trading partner.  

The May data published by Census show that, from May to October 2021, Mexico ranked second, so this drop means a reduction in imports and exports between the Spanish-speaking country and the United States. 

Los compradores esperan para pagar sus compras, en una tienda de Sam's Club, en la Ciudad de México. REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO.
REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO - Shoppers wait to pay for their purchases at a Sam's Club shop in Mexico City.

The latter's deficit in its foreign trade in goods and services rose by 19.4% in November. Since January, up to the date when the fall in the position was recorded, Mexico has played a very important role in the negotiations, and on numerous occasions, it has been the main trading partner of the United States in exports and imports, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). 

Between January and November, Mexico's exports totalled $351.464 billion, while imports were $252.718 billion, representing a US trade total of 14.5 % of the national value. The sum of these collections is 604.183 billion dollars, which represents a historical surplus of 10.532 billion dollars. Luz María de la Mora, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Economy, stated that, despite the drop, the Mexican government will continue to improve relations in order to continue growing, as well as recalling that the trade relationship between the two countries is very important.  

"Between January and November 2021, Mexico remained the main trading partner of the US, a sign of the consolidation of our productive integration in North America. We will continue working to boost trade in the region," she said via his Twitter account.  

On the other hand, several experts in the field are looking for the reasons for this economic slump. The digital newspaper Milenio interviewed José Luis de la Cruz, director general of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth (IDIC). The CEO of this office believes that one of the reasons for Mexico's fall in employment is the reduction in the production and import of cars and vehicles. According to him, the automotive sector is one of the important pillars in the trade exchange between the two territories, besides also being fundamental to the T-MEC - Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada signed in November 2018 -.  

Conferencia de prensa de delegación mexicana para negociación de los aranceles con Estados Unidos el 3 de junio de 2019 en la Embajada de México en Washington, DC. AFP/ERIC BARADAT
AFP/ERIC BARADAT - Mexican delegation press conference for tariff negotiations with the United States on 3 June 2019 at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC.

"Between the months of September and November, what we saw was a reduction in the production and export of automobiles and their parts. Secondly, the chip problem that in addition to the automotive sector, affected the production of electronics, computers and toys," said De la Cruz.  

Likewise, the Bank of Mexico has warned that these data are worrying and warns that, although the country's economic recovery continues, exports are plummeting and this is one of the main consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the communiqué issued by the organisation, the virus poses a major risk to the nation's economy, and warns that the new variant of the virus is wreaking havoc worldwide and it is feared that it will halt or delay the recovery process that Mexico has been experiencing in recent times.  

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra