Looking Back: The Disaster of NAFTA
Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has issued a new report, NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health Laws. The report compares the promises with which NAFTA was sold with the results we can measure 20 years later.
NAFTA was not just a "trade" agreement. Trade agreements focus on cutting tariffs and easing quotas and barriers to goods moving across borders. The report points out that NAFTA was much more, giving corporations special rights, incentivizing offshoring and limiting regulation....
Some of the effects of NAFTA that are highlighted in the report include,
- $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada,
- one million net U.S. jobs lost because of NAFTA,
- a doubling of immigration from Mexico,
- larger agricultural trade deficits with Mexico and Canada,
- and more than $360 million paid to corporations after “investor-state” tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.
- middle-class pay cuts, which in turn contributed to growing income inequality;
- how since NAFTA, U.S. trade deficit growth with Mexico and Canada has been 45 percent higher than with countries not party to a U.S. Free Trade Agreement,
- and how U.S. manufacturing and services exports to Canada and Mexico have grown at less than half the pre-NAFTA rate.