Trucking accounts for two-thirds of the value of Canada-U.S. trade in terms of value. Rail accounts for 20 percent [EN-4].
Trade value statistics cannot be easily interpreted in terms of their implications for the effects of TS&W policy options. Much of the trade across the western border involves low-value commodities moving in large quantities. Most of these commodities weigh-out.
Canadian trucks moved roughly 32.5 million metric tonnes of freight across the U.S.-Canada border in 1988. This is roughly 2 tonnes moved southbound for every 1 tonne moved northbound. Ninety-five percent of the crossborder freight moving by truck was moved by for- hire carriers; 5 percent was moved by private carriers. [EN-5].
As already noted, western border trade involves the movement of substantial quantities of low- value, resource-based commodities. Five trade sectors account for the major share of exports and imports across the western border [Ref 4, p 31]. These sectors and examples of some of the factors that influence them are [Ref 4, p 36]:
Agriculture--U.S.-Canada exchange rate and subsidies Energy--Consumption and environmental regulations Wood and paper--Global markets, environmental regulation, and cutting restrictions Chemicals, metals, and minerals--Subsidies and environmental regulations Machines, vehicles, and equipment--Economic growth and auto industry
Twenty-two percent of the value of all Canadian exports to the United States originate in the four western border Provinces of which slightly more than half originates in Alberta. Forty percent of the value of Canada's western exports to the United States are energy-related (primarily crude oil, natural gas, and hydro-generated electricity). The Canadian energy trade places a heavy reliance on pipelines and transmission lines, which move 35 percent of the value of these export [Ref 3, p D-1.4]. More specifically:
Wood and paper products make up 21 percent of Canada's exports in the West followed by industrial goods which account for 16 percent.
Agricultural commodities and products account for 9 percent of western Canada's exports. U.S. export trade into western Canada is dominated by manufactured items which accounted for 64 percent of the total value of all U.S. exports to western Canada in 1990.
The next largest category of trade is metals, minerals, and chemicals followed by agricultural products.