Articles On North American Free Trade Agreement
Agriculture, in particular, has seen a boost. Canada is the largest importer of U.S. agricultural products, and Canadian agricultural trade with the United States has more than tripled since 1994, as has Canada`s overall agricultural exports to NAFTA partners. NAFTA has also used a new era of free trade agreements, which have multiplied as World Trade Organization (WTO) global trade negotiations, and has played a pioneering role in integrating labour and environmental provisions, which have become increasingly broad in subsequent free trade agreements [PDF]. The USMCA has put in place stricter enforcement mechanisms than the original agreement, which has led the AFL-CIO, the largest collection of U.S. unions, to support the pact – a rare endorsement from a group that has strongly criticized NAFTA. Mexican politicians saw NAFTA as an opportunity to accelerate and block these hard-hit reforms in the Mexican economy. In addition to trade liberalization, Mexican leaders have reduced public debt, introduced a balanced budget rule, stabilized inflation and built up the country`s foreign exchange reserves. Although Mexico was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis because of its dependence on exports to the U.S.
market – the following year, Mexican exports to the United States fell by 17% and its economy fell by more than 6% – its economy rebounded fairly quickly and returned to growth in 2010. Many workers and union leaders blame trade agreements such as NAFTA for declining employment in U.S. production. The U.S. auto sector has lost about 350,000 jobs – one-third of the industry – since 1994, while employment in Mexico`s auto sector has grown from 120,000 to 550,000. When Bill Clinton signed the nafta law in 1993, he said the trade agreement signed “jobs.” U.S. jobs and well-paying American jobs. His independent opponent in the 1992 elections, Ross Perot, warned that fleeing jobs across the southern border would create a “great wake.” NAFTA has long been a political objective. In 2008, then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama responded to widespread trade skepticism within the Democratic base by promising to renegotiate NAFTA to incorporate stricter labor and environmental standards. The Obama administration tried to address NAFTA issues during the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, a massive trade agreement with 11 other countries, including Canada and Mexico. The TPP was deeply unpopular – Hillary Clinton ultimately opposed the deal during her 2016 presidential bid – and President Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP in one of his first official acts.
This represents a nominal increase of $1 trillion in trilateral trade of 258.5% since 1993, the actual increase – thus adjusted for inflation – of 125.2%. Given that people with lower incomes spend more of their income on clothing and other products cheaper to import than within the country, they would probably suffer the most from a towards protectionism – like many of them through trade liberalization.