Is NAFTA That Great?

analytical Essay
4604 words
4604 words

Before I get into the details of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that took effect on January 1, 1994 I want to call attention to what it is that makes this an interesting topic to me. On that date I was only eleven and was completely oblivious to what the agreement incorporated. My entire family comes from a Mexican heritage so NAFTA was definitely a topic of conversation at the dinner table. All I really understood was that its implementation would hopefully stimulate the Mexican economy and improve its trade relationship with the United States and the rest of the World.

Well now I am twenty-one and in the ten years since NAFTA has been implement I have heard relatively nothing about the benefits of the agreement. Therefore, I began to wonder why is it that I have heard nothing? In this research paper, I plan to not only help people better understand what NAFTA was trying to accomplish but also evaluate its overall effects. Did NAFTA accomplish what it said it would or has it accomplished nothing in the last ten years?

Overview of NAFTA

Three of the main issues that I would like to talk about later in this paper have to do with the peso crisis, the political turmoil that happened in 1994, and the many problems that exist on the US-Mexico borders. However, before I dive into those three areas I would first like to give an overview of NAFTA itself and its “effects.” I put effects in quotations because as I researched the agreement I quickly found out that many of the things that NAFTA claimed to accomplish either would have happened regardless or did not really happen at all.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, as mentioned earlier, was implemented on January 1, 1994. Its main goal was to basically phase out almost all of the restrictions on trade and investment flows between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. What is important to mention is that NAFTA mainly concentrated on the US-Mexico problem seeing that the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement had been implement a couple years before NAFTA was introduced.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that u.s. trade with mexico has increased in the past two decades due to mexico's economic reform and nafta.
  • Opines that nafta had great intentions but many failed to realize that mexico already understood what had to be done.
  • Explains that they were oblivious to the north american free trade agreement (nafta) that took effect on january 1, 1994. their entire family comes from a mexican heritage.
  • Explains that nafta was an extension of a movement towards economic liberalization that started in the mid 1980's.
  • Opines that it would be foolish to assume that nafta has achieved its goals without looking at other factors that may have contributed to the results that were associated with u.s.-mexican trade.
  • Argues that nafta contributed to the peso crash and the mexican recession in late 1994. the guerilla uprising in chiapas, the assassination of luis donaldo colosio, and a lackadaisical monetary policy were all factors that cannot be ignored.
  • Analyzes the impact of the peso crisis on mexico's economy.
  • Argues that nafta has created inequalities that have only caused harm.
  • Argues that nafta has only worsened the economic problems by damaging the labor force and the border’s ecosystem.
  • Opines that nafta failed to accomplish conservative promises, and that the economic regime destroyed labor interests and exploited the fragile ecosystem along the mexican-american border.
  • Concludes that nafta's effect on the u.s. trade balance with mexico has been minimal in absolute terms and in comparison with the size of the us economy.
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