During a recent lunch, my lunch mates and I began a debate about NAFTA. When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States became effective in 1994, some politicians and economists predicted that it would result in the wholesale loss of American jobs to Mexico. This has occurred somewhat. Various kinds of jobs have been lost, but they are primarily jobs held by very low-income workers. NAFTA has also had an effect on trade between the three member nations in the years since it was adopted.
This has been a generally favorable effect for all involved. Although the United States does have a growing deficit with Canada and Mexico, primarily with the auto sector in Mexico, many imports do not compete with imports already in the United States. However, there has been an effect on Caribbean nations, such as Jamaica and Trinidad, who were not included in NAFTA. Those nations do not enjoy the same favorable import laws that Mexico does. Therefore, it is more beneficial for producers to locate themselves in Mexico than in other Caribbean nations.
Although there has long been discussions of creating laws that would create some kind of parity for other Caribbean nations desiring to trade with the United States, since before NAFTA was even a reality, nothing of such sort has come to pass. All things considered, I do not believe that it is too early to tell whether or not NAFTA will be considered a success of the long haul. In the long term, Americans will eventually see that NAFTA has improved the economy.
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WORKS CITED Office of NAFTA and Inter-American Affairs: International Trade Administration • Market Access and Compliance (2004). Retrieved December 5, 2005 from http://www. mac. doc. gov/nafta/. NAFTA Secretariat (2004). Retrieved December 5, 2005 from http://www. nafta-sec-alena. org/DefaultSite/index_e. aspx.