NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been getting a lot of not so favorable, and sometimes, controversial headlines in recent years. Some critics blame it for the current labor shortages in the United
States, due to the fact that most U.S. companies have been and continue to outsource and ship jobs overseas. However, its proponents have been hailing it as a great success in helping lowering national prices on certain manufactured goods and services and that it has caused to increase wages for certain jobs within the U.S.
The Agreement was signed by Bill Clinton, president of the United States, Brian Mulroney of Canada, and Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico. It was hailed as the highest achievement and largest trilateral agreement
between the tri-bloc countries in decades. "Under the NAFTA, all non-tariff barriers to agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico were eliminated. In addition, many tariffs were eliminated immediately, with others being phased out over periods of 5 to 15 years.
The pros and cons of NAFTA can be regrouped as following:
Proponents claim that:
The accord has stimulated democratic reform and opened markets in Mexico and has also improved the standard of living in Mexico.
The Bush administration claims that NAFTA has led to income gains and tax cuts amounting to about $930 each year for the average U.S. household of four.
Many of the 20 million new jobs the U.S. generated from 1993 to 2000 can be attributed to the free-trade bloc that NAFTA created, the administration continues.
NAFTA brought in a flood of foreign investment and contributed to a 24% rise in Mexico's per capita income as well as a reinforced political cooperation
While detractors argue that:
The agreement has taken a toll on both U.S. and Mexican jobs, according to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). While real wages for Mexican manufacturing workers declined 13.5%, more than half a million U.S.... [continues]
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