Critics of NAFTA often focus on the U.S. trade balance with Mexico. While the United States enjoys a slight advantage in services trade by exporting $30.8 billion in 2015 while importing $21.6 billion, the trade balance with the country is generally negative, due to a yawning deficit of $58.8 billion in merchandise trade in 2016. In 1993, the deficit was $36.1 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in 1993. It is difficult to find a direct link between NAFTA and overall employment trends. The Economic Policy Institute, partially funded by trade unions, estimated that in 2013, 682,900 net jobs were supplanted by the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico. In a 2015 report, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said NAFTA “has not caused the huge job losses that critics fear.” On the other hand, it allowed that “in some sectors, trade-related effects may have been greater, particularly in sectors that have been more exposed to the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, such as textiles, clothing, automobiles and agriculture.” The increase in Mexican imports from the United States has caused prices of consumer goods to fall and contributed to greater prosperity: ” (I)f Mexico has become a civil society, as many claim today,” Castaeda wrote in 2013, “this is largely due to this transformation.” Nevertheless, he concludes that NAFTA “has not kept virtually any of its economic promises.” He calls for a broader agreement with energy, migration, security and education provisions – “more NAFTA, nothing less.” It`s unlikely today. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas and U.S. President George H.W.
Bush, came into force on January 1, 1994. NAFTA has created economic growth and a rising standard of living for the people of the three member countries. By strengthening trade and investment rules and procedures across the continent, Nafta has proven to be a solid foundation for building Canada`s prosperity. NAFTA replaced Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). Negotiations on CUFTA began in 1986 and the agreement entered into force on 1 January 1989. The two nations agreed on a landmark agreement that put Canada and the United States at the forefront of trade liberalization. For more information, visit the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement information page.
Additional ancillary agreements have been adopted to allay concerns about the potential impact of the treaty on the labour market and the environment. Critics feared that U.S. and Canadian companies in Mexico would have generally low wages, which would lead to a shift of production to Mexico and a rapid reduction in manufacturing employment in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, environmentalists were concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of rapid industrialization in Mexico, which does not have experience in implementing and enforcing environmental legislation. Possible environmental problems were raised in the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement (NAAEC), which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994. After all, three low-key events have had a significant impact on the North American economy, none of which can be attributed to NAFTA.