Who Did NAFTA Benefit the Most?

920 WordsJun 17, 20184 Pages
After a lengthy negotiation of over 3 years, Canada, the United States, and Mexico reached an agreement on trilateral trade ― the North American Free Trade Agreement (Scaliger). Commonly referred to as NAFTA, it came into effect on the first day of 1994. Covering 450 million people and reaching $17 trillion in combined GDP, NAFTA proudly ranks the first among the world’s free trade agreements (USTR). It is usually seen as a remarkable success for the countless benefits it brings to the member countries. The goal of NAFTA was to promote closer trade relationships, eliminate trade barriers, and increase market opportunities among all three countries in the agreement. However, the United States has indeed benefited the most from NAFTA…show more content…
In summary, U.S.’s geographical location along with NAFTA promotes American culture in both Canada and Mexico. Last but not least, NAFTA has given United States access to much needed cheap resources. As a huge manufacturing country, the U.S. is always in demand of natural resources. Canada and Mexico, on the other hand, are resource-rich countries and over 12% of their exports is petroleum products (The Observatory of Economic Complexity). NAFTA has lowered the tariffs thus giving Americans more access to its neighbours’ oil reserves. Futhermore, when signing NAFTA, Canada agreed that they will not reduce oil exports to the U.S. even during shortage, unless Canada cuts its own supplies. That is, the percentage of oil exports to the U.S. cannot be changed. The United States therefore receives less impacts from fluctuating world oil price, and is guaranteed a steady supply of oil for its industries. In addition to that, NAFTA makes it possible for the U.S. to take advantage of the large educated work force in Mexico. American businesses set up factories along Mexican boundary and employ local workers to assemble products from imported U.S. components, the final products are then exported back to the U.S. Known as maquiladora, these factories have the worst working condition in North America (Mexican Rural Development Research Reports). The workers have no human rights or health
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