The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994, with the promise of thousands of new jobs and new industries in Mexico. But the results have been mixed, experts say. NAFTA has facilitated the free movement of capital and goods, tripling trade among Mexico, the United States and Canada. However, it has also had a devastating effect on employment in Mexico, particularly in the agricultural sector, because the flood of subsidized food from the United States has resulted in plummeting prices for food produced in Mexico. As a result, millions of Mexican farmworkers are now unemployed, and many have migrated to the United States.
Read more about the pros and cons of NAFTA:
American Free Trade Agreement
This Web site, maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
provides a broad overview of the North American Free Trade
Agreement, a trade agreement among Mexico, the United
States and Canada that was signed in 1994. Included are
fact sheets about the agreement and an overview of its
Broken Promise of NAFTA"
This critical assessment of NAFTA, published in The
New York Times in January 2004, was written by Joseph
E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and professor of economics
at Columbia University. Stiglitz offers a broad overview
of NAFTA's past and present, concluding that the treaty
has served U.S. interests at the expense of Mexico.
Was NAFTA Worth It?"
Business Week assesses the social, economic and political
impact of NAFTA a decade after its inception. The article
includes links to other NAFTA-related features, such as
statistical information about NAFTA's effect on migration
to the United States.
Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, maintains
an online archive of reports documenting NAFTA's negative
impact on the environment, jobs and workers' rights. Its
Web site also features a special series, "NAFTA at Ten,"
a critical appraisal of the trade agreement on its 10-year
and Illegal Migration to the United States
This online report, published by the Center for Western
Hemispheric Trade at the University of Texas at Austin,
explores the relationship between NAFTA and migration
flows to the United States.
NAFTA and Migration
This article, published by the Migration Dialogue project
of the University of California at Davis, suggests that
NAFTA has helped to increase trade revenue for Mexico,
the United States and Canada, but has exacerbated poverty
in Mexico and increased migration to the United States.
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