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Ratification Of Nafta

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The North American Free Trade Agreement, otherwise known as NAFTA, has been a topic of hot debate since before its ratification in 1994. From economists to diplomats and from politicians to blue-collar workers, most everyone had opinions and speculations on how NAFTA would affect the nations – be they positive or negative assumptions. Now 23 years later, the effects of this treaty binding the United States, Canada & Mexico are being fully felt and can be examined in depth. One area of major concern for the United States during the negotiations for NAFTA – immigration from Mexico – has continued to garner attention nationwide throughout the years the treaty has been in effect. How did the ratification of this tripartite agreement for free…show more content…
However, missing from this framework is one vital feature – a provision for the legal movement of labor. In the words of Gene McNary, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner at the time of NAFTA’s closing discussions, “…moving goods and services in international commerce also involves moving the people who trade in those goods and services” (Oliver 88). Unlike in the European Union, where there are provisions for the movement of labor, NAFTA has little to say about worker mobility in light of the increased movement of goods across borders; instead, U.S. policy has moved toward inhibiting Mexican laborers from coming across the border (Fernandez-Kelly and Massey 99).
Why, then, is there no official guideline for the movement of labor across borders incorporated into the North American Free Trade Agreement? During the negotiation of NAFTA, the reasoning was that the tripartite pact would bring not only economic growth to all three nations, but also curtail immigration from Mexico to the United States. In strengthening the Mexican economy through NAFTA’s increased trade and foreign investment, it was theorized that there would be greater employment opportunities, higher wages and eventually, an enhanced standard of living in Mexico; thus, curbing both legal and illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States (Viano 103). Though these were the expected outcomes of NAFTA on the Mexican economy, the reality has been far
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