Democrat Hillary Clinton declined to defend his husband's crowning trade deal on Wednesday night, but Republican Donald Trump repeated his theme that NAFTA "is one of the worst deals ever made of any kind signed by anybody. It’s a disaster."
Trump came back repeatedly during the debate and stated he would renegotiate NAFTA, or terminate it. "The jobs are being sucked out of our economy. You look at the places I just left. You go to Pennsylvania, you go to Ohio, you go to Florida, you go to any of them. You go to upstate New York. Our jobs have fled to Mexico and other places. We're bringing our jobs back. I'm going to renegotiate NAFTA. And if I can't make a great deal, then we're going to terminate NAFTA and we’re going to create new deals. We're going to have trade but we're going to terminate it. We're going on make a great trade deal. If we can't, we're going to go our separate way because it has been a disaster."
The disaster that is NAFTA right now accounts for about $1.225 trillion yearly in direct trade across North America.
Economy wide, Canada and Mexico the second- and third-largest trading partners, respectively, for the U.S., behind only China.
According to statistics from the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, NAFTA generated roughly $1.225 trillion in trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 2015. Total trade between the U.S. and Canada amounted to $662 billion while trade between the U.S. and Mexico was $533 billion.
Trade between Canada and Mexico amounts to about $30 billion, up from less than $3 billion in 1991.
In 1991, U.S-Canada-Mexico trade accounted for $247 billion in 1991 -- which would equate to $433.03 billion in today's value -- according to the International Monetary Fund.
So overall trade value between the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 2015 was roughly $792 billion higher than it would have been simply due to the rate of inflation from 1991 to now.
Overall, the U.S. maintains a trade surplus with Canada while has a trade deficit with Mexico. Combined the U.S. had a $46.1 billion net trade deficit in 2015 under NAFTA. The annual U.S. trade deficit under NAFTA equates to about 8% of total U.S. export volume of $575.6 billion last year.
The volume of agricultural trade has increased six-fold between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. However, the U.S. has gone from a $1.7 billion net positive trade balance for ag products in 1991 with Canada and Mexico to a $1 billion net trade deficit for agriculture in 2015 due to the U.S. ag trade deficit with Mexico.
The $1 billion agricultural export deficit equates to about 2.3% of the $42 billion in U.S. farm exports under NAFTA last year.
Economy wide, the U.S. exported $337.3 billion to Canada in 2015 while importing $325.4 billion. Thus, the U.S. had an $11.9 billion trade surplus.
When it comes to ag products, the U.S. had a $2 billion trade surplus with Canada in 2015.
The volume of ag trade between the U.S. and Canada is roughly six times the value that it was just before the trade deal came into effect. In 1991, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada were valued at $4.6 billion, which would equate to $8 billion in today's value. Ag imports from Canada in 1991 were valued at $3 billion.
In 2015, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, the U.S. exported $24 billion in ag products to Canada, making the Great White North the top market for ag commodities. (Canada and China have gone back and forth in the top spot over the past few years.) Leading U.S. products shipped to Canada include: prepared food ($1.9 billion), fresh vegetables ($1.9 billion), fresh fruit ($1.6 billion), snack foods ($1.3 billion), and non-alcoholic beverages (except juices) ($1.2 billion).
U.S. farm imports totaled $22 billion, making Canada the largest agricultural exporter to the U.S. The top products included snack foods ($3.7 billion), red meats, ($2.2 billion), live animals ($1.8 billion), other vegetable oils ($1.6 billion), and processed fruit & vegetables ($1.4 billion).
Regarding overall trade with Mexico, Canada is running about a $19 billion trade deficit, according to figures from the Canadian government.
Economy wide, the U.S. exported $238 billion in goods to Mexico in 2015 while importing $295 billion. The U.S. ran a $58 billion trade deficit with Mexico.
Ag trade between the U.S. and Mexico is more than seven times the value that it was in 1991, In 2015, the U.S. exported $18 billion in ag products to Mexico while importing $21 billion for a $3 billion trade deficit.
The $18 billion in ag goods sent from the U.S. to Mexico in 2015 was down $1.5 billion from a year earlier. Leading ag exports included: corn ($2.3 billion), soybeans ($1.4 billion), dairy products ($1.3 billion), pork & pork products ($1.3 billion), and beef & beef products ($1.1 billion).
Of the $21 billion in ag products sent from Mexico to the U.S. in 2015, they included: fresh vegetables ($4.8 billion), other fresh fruit ($4.3 billion), wine and beer ($2.7 billion), snack foods ($1.7 billion), and processed fruit & vegetables ($1.4 billion).
In 1991, U.S. farm exports to Mexico were nearly $3 billion, which would equate to roughly $5.26 billion in today's dollars. Mexico exported $2.5 billion in ag products to the U.S., which means the U.S. had roughly a $500 million ag trade surplus with Mexico in 1991.
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN
© Copyright 2016 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.