Mexico Canada Free Trade Agreement

The Clinton administration negotiated an environmental agreement with Canada and Mexico, the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement (NAAEC), which led to the creation of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994. In order to allay concerns that nafta, the first regional trade agreement between a developing and two developed countries, would have negative effects on the environment, the Commission was tasked with carrying out an ex post-post environmental assessment[34] it created one of the first ex-post frameworks for the environmental assessment of trade liberalization, which was to provide a certain amount of evidence regarding the initial assumptions concerning NAFTA and the environment. , such as the fear that NAFTA could create a “race to the bottom” of environmental regulation between the three countries or that NAFTA would put pressure on governments to strengthen their environmental protection. [35] The CEC organized four symposiums on assessing the impact of NAFTA on the environment and requested 47 contributions from leading independent experts on the subject. [36] It is impossible to isolate the effects of NAFTA on the broader economy. For example, it is difficult to say with certainty what percentage of the current U.S. trade deficit, which reached a record $65,677 million at the end of 2005, is directly attributable to NAFTA. It is also difficult to say what percentage of the 3.3 million manufacturing jobs that were lost in the United States between 1998 and 2004 is the result of NAFTA and what percentage would have been created without this trade agreement. It cannot even be said with certainty that the intensification of trade between NAFTA countries is exclusively the result of the trade agreement. Those who support the agreement generally claim NAFTA loans for enhanced trade activity and reject the idea that the agreement has resulted in job losses or a growing trade deficit with Canada and Mexico ($8,039 million and $4,263 million respectively in December 2005).

Critics of the agreement generally associate it with these deficits and job losses. On the other hand, critics of the agreement claim that it is responsible for job losses and wage moderation in the United States, driven by low-wage competition, from companies that have relocated their production to Mexico to reduce costs and a growing trade deficit. Dean Baker of the Centre for Economic and Political Research (CEPR) and Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute argue that the post-NAFTA increase in imports has resulted in a loss of up to six hundred thousand U.S. jobs over two decades, although they acknowledge that some of this import growth would likely have occurred without NAFTA.

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