North American Free Trade Agreement:

U.S.-Mexican Trade and Investment Data

GGD-92-131: Published: Sep 25, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the prospective North American Free Trade Agreement, focusing on: (1) Mexico's trade with the United States, and its worldwide and selected bilateral trade for 1980 through 1991; (2) foreign direct investment between Mexico and the United States and selected countries' direct investment in Mexico; (3) maquiladora operations in Mexico; and (4) the top 50 companies, importers, exporters, and maquiladoras operating in Mexico in 1990.

GAO found that: (1) from 1980 to 1991, U.S. exports to Mexico increased from approximately $15 billion to over $33 billion and represented 7.9 percent of all U.S. exports; (2) in 1991, U.S. trade with Mexico represented more than 70 percent of Mexico's total imports and exports; (3) travel transactions represented the leading category of services trade between the United States and Mexico; (4) according to Mexican government statistics, the United States was Mexico's dominant foreign investor, representing 63 percent of direct foreign investment at the end of 1991; (5) in contrast to Mexican statistics, U.S. government statistics reported that Mexican direct investment in the United States represented less than 0.2 percent; (6) U.S. direct investment in Mexico was concentrated in manufacturing, maquiladoras, and the service sector; (7) official U.S. data are not available on the amount of U.S.-Mexican merchandise trade attributed to Mexico's maquiladora operations because the U.S. government does not distinguish between transactions involving maquiladora operations and other transactions; (8) according to Mexican data, maquiladora trade represented 36.9 percent of Mexico's total exports and 23.4 percent of its imports in 1991; (9) the United States and Mexico are engaged in a project to reconcile differences in their bilateral trade data; and (10) a list of the top 50 maquiladora importers and exporters is not available.

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