The Pro's and Con's of NAFTA

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Introduction The North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as the NAFTA, is a trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico launched to enable North America to become more competitive in the global marketplace (Amadeo, 2011). The NAFTA is regarded as “one of the most successful trade agreements in history” for its impact on increases in agricultural trade and investment among the three contracting nations (North American Free Trade Agreement, 2011). Supporters and opponents of the NAFTA have argued the effects of the agreement on participating nations since its inception; yet, close examination proves that NAFTA has had a relatively positive impact on the economies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Although the NAFTA is not without problems, the trade agreement has leveled the playing field for the three participating nations and increased cross-border trade, positively contributing to globalization. The success or failure of the NAFTA impacts level of employment, the economy, and the environment of the three contracting nations. With the implementation of trade agreements such as the NAFTA, the world has become more interconnected, and citizens must be aware of the affects such trade agreements have on their living standards and job security. Features of the NAFTA The NAFTA was implemented on January 1, 1994 to remove tariff trade barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico by providing duty-free trade in multiple classes of goods (Barufaldi, 2008). The NAFTA creates a free trade area where all barriers to trade between member countries are removed. Many of the tariffs affecting agricultural trade among the participating nations were eliminated at the inception of the agreeme... ... middle of paper ... ...ttp://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/NAFTA-Myth-versus-Fact.pdf North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (n.d.). USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Retrieved September 15, 2011, from http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/policy/nafta/nafta.asp North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (n.d.). Public Citizen. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=531 Teslik, L. H. (2009, July 7). NAFTA's Economic Impact. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from www.cfr.org/economics/naftas-economic-impact/p15790 USTR- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) | Office of the United States Trade Representative. (n.d.). (2011). Office of the United States Trade Representative. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/north-american-free-trade-agreement-nafta

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