Essay on NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico Trade

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NAFTA and U.S.-Mexico Trade The agreement Three years after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created the largest free trade area in the world, the debate rages on. Critics say NAFTA is a failure that its member countries — the United States, Mexico and Canada — should abandon. It’s a “trade agreement from hell,” according to the consumer group Public Citizen. Supporters call NAFTA a success and want it to expand across Latin America. Former Commerce Secretary and U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor calls it a “win-win situation” for everyone. Opinions grow particularly heated when the focus turns to the United States and Mexico. By the time NAFTA went into effect Jan. 1, 1994, the United States and…show more content…
“It is important to realize that NAFTA is not the opening up of Mexico,” said Jonathan Heath, a Mexico City economist. “The opening up of Mexico had occurred before NAFTA. NAFTA is the consolidation of that opening up and what it really represents is the locking in of trade liberalization for Mexico.” Some analysts say NAFTA can be judged in part by examining what would have happened without the trade agreement. For example, trade disputes have continued to erupt, but NAFTA provides a forum for hearings and resolution. For now, the fairest statement about NAFTA may be that neither the critics’ worst fears nor the supporters’ rosiest forecasts has materialized. Nonetheless, many analysts agree that NAFTA has made a mark. U.S.-Mexico trade continues to grow, and NAFTA and the promises it brings have lessened the impact of the Mexican recession and quickened its recovery. Healthy, growing bilateral trade, they say, depends on healthy, growing economies, and Mexico’s recovery and continuing economic liberalization should fuel that trend. NAFTA is a comprehensive agreement designed to improve virtually all aspects of trade between the three partners. NAFTA eliminates tariffs completely over several years and removes many nontariff barriers like quotas. Many tariffs ended the day NAFTA took effect: They affected half of all U.S. exports to Mexico, such as

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