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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Entries in U.S exports (1)


Ports-to-Plains Moving a Growing Portion of U.S./Canada Trade

Canada is the No. 1 export market for U.S. goods.  In 2014 the U.S. exported over $19 billion in goods by truck to the entirety of Canada.  The Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor connects Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada with Montana and North Dakota.  While there are fourteen (14) border crossings from Portal, ND to the east and Sweetgrass, MT to the west, there are four commercial crossings including Portal, ND/North Portal, SK; Raymond, MT/Regway, SK; Wild Horse MT/AB and Sweetgrass MT/Coutts, AB which are used to track trade using the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor. These four crossings will be referred to as the PTP crossings. The data summarized below all address movement by truck.

The PTP crossings accounted for over $6 billion in exports from the nine states in the Ports-to-Plains Alliance region.  Since 2004, the exports through the PTP crossings have increased by 184.3% or almost $4 billion.  This increase outpaces the 65.5% increase in all U.S. exports to Canada.  This represents 31.6% of all U.S. exports to Canada in 2014.  So in terms of the market share of total exports from the U.S. to Canada, the PTP crossings have gained 13.2% of the market share.

In what is certainly a positive trade balance, the U.S. imported over $13 billion in goods from all of Canada in 2014.  The PTP crossing processed over $3.8 billion or 29% of those imports.  Again, the PTP crossings accounted for an increase of almost 132% or almost $2.2 billion since 2004.  As with exports, U.S. imports from Canada, using the PTP crossings gained an additional market share of 10.4% since 2014. The strength of export and import market shares demonstrate the strength of economies in both the nine-state Ports-to-Plains region and Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada. 

The U.S. /Canada trade relationship cannot be discussed without including the impact of the Alberta Oil Sands to the nine-state Ports-to-Plains region.  Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the U.S.  For every two jobs created in Canada from the oil sands, a third job is created in the U.S.   New oil sands development is projected to generate $521 billion in economic activity in the U.S. over the next 25 years. The Alberta Oil Sands will contribute over $901 million in terms of GDP to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance region, 15.5% of the entire U.S.

In the FAST Act recently passed by Congress, freight program funds are available to state designated Critical Rural Freight Corridors (CRFC).  The Act allows each state to identify up to 150 miles of CRFC which includes principal arterial roadways or facilities; access or service to energy exploration, development, installation, or production areas; provides access or service to— agriculture facilities or connects to an international port of entry. The Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridors certainly fulfill those criteria.