Who Did NAFTA Benefit the Most?

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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 economically through expansion of American culture and access to natural and human resources. First and foremost, the primary purpose of NAFTA is to promote economic growth. From this “money” point of view, free trade is mostly in favor of the U.S. One of the major factors that determines a country's economic strength is GDP. Surprisingly, NAFTA is estimated to boost American GDP by 0.5% a year, approximately $50 billion in 2000 (OSTR). Moreover, in 2003, 10 years after NAFTA was established, United States experienced the most significant economic growth ― 38%, compared to 30% in Canada and 31% in Mexico (USTR). Keep in mind that the U.S. had a larger base of growth. In addition to that, the U.S. has a giant manufacturing industry that consumed huge natural resources. The majority had to come from imports: Canada and Mexico are definitely the best exporters of resources. Almost one-third of U.S.'s imports come from these two NAFTA countries (Workman). The United States, as the largest importer in North ... ... middle of paper ... ...of Chung-Ang University, 2002. 69-79. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. . Sommer, Heldi. "The Economic Benefits of NAFTA to the United States and Mexico." Http://www.ncpa.org/. National Center for Policy Analysis, 16 June 2008. Web. 05 Jan. 2014. . "USDA ERS - U.S. Agricultural Trade." USDA ERS. N.p., 5 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Jan. 2014. . Villarrea, M. Angeles, and Ian F. Fergusson. "NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects." Http://www.fas.org/. Federation of American Scientists, 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 4 Jan. 2014. . Workman, Daniel. "America's Top Import Partners." Worlds Top Exports. N.p., 13 June 2013. Web. 04 Jan. 2014. .
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