Pink Panthers Logistics is rockin’ out in Mexico!

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New data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department showed that in 2023, Mexico was the leading source of goods imported to the US — ahead of China for the first time in over 20 years.

Mexico surpassing China as America’s top trade partner signals a significant shift in global commerce dynamics. As tensions between the US and China persist, fueled by trade disputes and tariffs, this transition to Mexico helps reduce costs and speed up the supply chain, ultimately lowering the costs of goods in the US.

Between 2022 and 2023, the value of goods imported to the US from Mexico increased by almost 5%, up to over $475 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Chinese imports fell 20% in the same time period, to $427.2 billion, just slightly above Canada.

Additionally, the value of Chinese imports remained above the value of Mexican imports from 2002 until this most recent data.

U.S. President Joe Biden and President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. HECTOR VIVAS/Getty Images

The value of Chinese imports shot up at the start of the pandemic as many Americans purchased everything from furniture to laptops made in China. Trade with China remained strong in 2022 amid supply-chain disruptions, though values tapered off last year.

More than a third of US imports — valued over $3 trillion — come from Mexico, China, and Canada.

The US trade deficit — exports minus imports — contracted by almost 19% in 2023. US businesses and consumers have been buying more from European countries, South Korea, India, and Vietnam, particularly clothing items and auto parts.

Overall, US imports fell in 2023 amid declines in spending on consumer goods such as clothes and cellphones, as well as less crude oil.

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