Mexico is an important player in the world economy. This country has many valuable exports which are sent to locations all over the world. Mexico is a leading producer of many important and valuable products. As such, their imports and exports are important to many countries, especially the neighboring United States.
Fast-growing exports from Mexico to the United States include sugar, gold and tin. Other exports include crude oil, cars and car parts, video equipment and computers. Mexico is also an exporter of a wide variety of food products including meat, cheese, eggs, seafood and a variety of vegetables. Mexico is a leading producer of coffee, corn, oranges and sugar worldwide. This country also produces large amounts of silver, zinc, mercury and fluorite. Mexico is the world's fifth largest oil producer.
Fast-growing imports from the United States to Mexico include tobacco and nuclear fuels. Other imports to Mexico include plastics, electrical and metal parts, and industrial machines and supplies. Mexico’s three largest import partners are China, Japan, and the United States.
The United States' trade deficit with Mexico has been on a steady incline. In 2006, it reached $64.1 billion. In 1999 the United States received over 88 percent of Mexico’s imports and Canada received just over one percent. In 2000, Mexico gained access to a new and relatively untapped market in Europe by entering into a free trade agreement with the European Union. Mexico trades with more than 40 countries, 90 percent of which are under free trade agreements. However, close to 90 percent of Mexican imports are still sent to the United States and Canada. About 65 percent of Mexican imports come from these two countries.
Mexican exports have seen a steady shift over the last quarter of a century. The nation previously had a high reliance on oil as one of its main exports. This has since shifted to a reliance on manufacturing. Prior to 1981, Mexico suffered from a severe trade deficit. The country managed to recover slowly until 1990 when they again fell into a deficit. A trade surplus again occurred between 1995 and 1997, followed by a deficit.
In 2006, Mexico took an important stand on the importing and exporting of live creatures. A bill was passed which strictly prohibits any importations or exportation of primates and marine mammals. This effectively stopped the trade of marine life such as dolphins, seals, manatees, whales, sea lions, and porpoises. The decree also banned the trade of products made from marine mammals, including pelts and decorative items.