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NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges / Edition 1

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Overview

NAFTA entered into force in 1994 after a bitter Congressional debate. But NAFTA in operation has proved no less controversial than NAFTA before ratification, for both supporters and opponents of trade liberalization have cited experience with the agreement to justify their positions. To provide a factual basis for this ongoing debate, the authors evaluate NAFTA’s performance since its inception, comparing actual experience with both the objectives of the agreement’s supporters and the charges of its critics. They examine future challenges and opportunities in the trade and investment relationships among the three partner countries and the broader implications for new trade initiatives throughout the hemisphere. Chapter 1 describes trade, investment, and macroeconomic developments under NAFTA, beginning inauspiciously with the Mexican economic crisis of 1994 but moving on to impressive growth in trilateral trade and Mexican GDP. Chapter 2 traces the implementation of NAFTA’s dispute settlement provisions and the progress to date in implementing reforms. Chapter 3 distills and updates the findings from NAFTA and the Environment: Seven Years Later and recommends how to improve the performance of NAFTA’s institutions in addressing environmental problems. Chapter 4 undertakes a similar assessment of the operations of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation and the impact of NAFTA on employment and wages in the region. Chapters 5 and 6 examine integration in the North American auto and energy markets. The final chapter looks forward and focuses on the challenges facing North American economic integration on important issues such as immigration, environment, energy, and exchange rates.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
All of us seeking respite from the highly partisan, often surreal shouting matches over trade policy are deeply in debt to Hufbauer and Schott for this definitive, comprehensive assessment of the North American Free Trade Agreement's first decade. Nimbly dissecting virtually every numerical study of NAFTA, they reason that the trade accord has achieved its benchmark economic goals — spurring competition in domestic markets, doubling merchandise trade, boosting direct investment — and then proceed to deflate exaggerated claims that it has had major effects on either employment or wages. Recognizing that NAFTA's labor and environmental institutions and dispute-resolution mechanisms were badly shortchanged, the authors also recommend doubling the capital of the North American Development Bank and creating a unified (and fortified) NAFTA headquarters. Hufbauer and Schott toss out a basketful of market-based yet politically savvy proposals to deepen North American integration — a common external tariff, Mexican nonvoting participation in Federal Reserve Board meetings, common visa standards for non-NAFTA visitors, an independent trilateral monitoring board to promote core labor standards, an annual environmental report card to spotlight glaring deficiencies — but, bowing to vested interests and nationalist sentiments in all three member countries, stop short of the more ambitious "North American Community" vision. Every international economist will want a copy of this exemplary analysis of public policy on his or her bookshelf.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881323344
  • Publisher: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Overview 1
2 Labor 79
3 Environment 153
4 Dispute settlement systems 199
5 Agriculture 283
6 The automotive sector 365
7 Energy 395
8 Mexico-US migration 441
9 Recommendations for North American economic integration 467
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