Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Canada remains top US trading partner ahead of Mexico; Texas group acquires heavy-haul carrier United Vision Logistics; GM plans to expand electric vehicle production in Mexico; and Chinese manufacturer announces first plant in Mexico.

Canada still top US trading partner ahead of Mexico

Canada ranked as the United States’ top trading partner for the second consecutive month in November and stands No. 1 overall year to date, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mexico ranked No. 2, as its total trade with the U.S. increased 6% year over year (y/y) to $62.4 billion in November, compared to the same period in 2022. China rated third with $52.5 billion.

Mexico was the top trading partner for the U.S. in September and August.

Canada’s total trade with the U.S. rose 5% y/y to $63.4 billion in November, with exports to America increasing 7% y/y to $29.6 billion. 

Crude oil ($8 billion), auto parts ($3.7 billion) and passenger vehicles ($3.2 billion) were three of the top trade commodities between the U.S. and Canada in November.

Trade between the U.S. and Canada for the first 10 months of the year totaled $733 billion.

Imports from Mexico totaled $36.8 billion in November, a 6.4% y/y increase from 2021. It represented the lowest y/y growth rate in imports over the last 13 months. During October, U.S. imports from Mexico rose almost 18% y/y.

Exports from the U.S. to Mexico totaled $29.6 billion in November, a 23% y/y increase from the same month last year. 

Top U.S.-Mexico trade goods in November included auto parts ($8.6 billion), heavy-duty trucks and buses ($3.8 billion) and passenger vehicles ($2.9 billion).

Trade between the U.S. and Mexico for the first 10 months of the year totaled $718.3 billion. China’s trade with America year to date totals $639 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit contracted by its largest margin in nearly 14 years in November as slowing domestic demand and higher borrowing costs slowed imports to the country, according to Reuters

Total U.S. imports fell 6.4% to $313.4 billion, with consumer goods dropping 7.5% to $254.9 billion, its lowest sum since December 2020.

Texas group acquires heavy-haul carrier United Vision Logistics

Houston-based Bluestem Equity has acquired United Vision Logistics (UVL), a transportation and logistics service provider with over 100 facilities across the U.S. and a fleet of over 1,200 owner-operators, according to a news release.

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based carrier provides heavy-haul, long-haul and expedited shipping in the U.S. and Canada.

“Bluestem’s purchase allows us to partner with an industrial services leader with similar goals and ambitions,” UVL President Colby Domingue said in a statement. “With our renewed emphasis on customers, employees and partners, Bluestem and UVL will work together to continue to build our business into a formidable presence in the logistics industry.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. UVL boasts 982 trucks and 1,009 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Bluestem Equity, founded in 2021, is a private investment partnership with a primary focus on operating and collaborating with businesses serving the industrial and construction sectors.

GM to expand EV production in Mexico, creating 4,500 jobs

General Motors is reportedly considering expanding electric vehicle production to its existing plant in the northern Mexico city of Ramos Arizpe.

Raquel Buenrostro, Mexico’s economic minister, recently tweeted that GM would be expanding EV production in the country after a meeting with company officials.

According to the tweet, the Ramos Arizpe plant will be shifting to 100% EV production this year and aims to begin full production in 2024. GM has also increased its workforce in Mexico by roughly 4,500 over the past six months.

The Ramos Arizpe plant produces the Chevy Equinox and Chevy Blazer vehicles. GM has four production plants in Mexico and employs around 7,000 workers.

Chinese manufacturer announces first plant in Mexico

China-based Noah Itech recently broke ground on the construction of a $100 million plant in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, according to a news release.

The new factory, which will create 100 jobs and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year, will be located in the municipality of Santa Catarina. The state of Nuevo Leon borders Texas and shares a border crossing with Laredo.

Noah Itech manufactures automation equipment, reportedly used by automakers such as Tesla and General Motors, according to El Economista. The company also produces electronic products used by Google and Facebook. 

Austin, Texas-based Tesla has also reportedly acquired land in Nuevo Leon and is on the verge of announcing a plan to build a factory there. 

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