Treasury

Mexico tops China in exports to US for first time in 20 years, trade data shows

New trade data highlights growing tensions between US and China, experts say.
article cover

Ugurhan/Getty Images

· less than 3 min read

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.

Is it still considered offshore if the exporter borders the importer by land, rather than by sea?

According to new Census Bureau data, the US last year imported more goods and services from Mexico than China for the first time in two decades, the New York Times reported. In other words, around the same time that Mexico last reigned as top US exporter, OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” ruled supreme on domestic airwaves.

Federal data shows US imports from China shrank 20% in 2023, to $427.2 billion, while it imported $475.6 billion worth of goods from Mexico. The New York Times reported that US buyers also looked to Canada, Europe, and Asia for goods and raw materials.

Per federal data, Chinese imports between January and November last year accounted for just 13.9% of total US imports, Quartz reported. This marked China’s smallest share of the US import pie sinceo 2004. Mexico’s share, meanwhile, reached a record 15.5%.

Reporters for the Times wrote that the new trade data “is beginning to provide compelling evidence that years of heightened tensions have significantly chipped away at America’s trading relationship with China.”

​​“We are decoupling, and that’s weighing heavily on trade flows,” Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics chief economist, told the NYT.

The total US trade deficit shrank by 18.7% in 2023, the Census Bureau reported.

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.