North American Economic Integration: Theory and Practice

By Norris C. Clement; Gustavo Del Castillo Vera et al. | Go to book overview

4. The United States after World War II

This chapter surveys the last fifty years of United States economic history. The purpose is to place the economic integration project of the US, Canada and Mexico within an historical perspective. From this long-run point of view, NAFTA represents both continuity and change in the economic policies of the United States. On the one hand, NAFTA is an expression of tendencies in the United States to seek out bilateral solutions to trade issues. Nevertheless, it is also a reflection of broader forces in the international economy which are bringing all three NAFTA countries into closer economic proximity. In terms of both US policy and the apparent commercial evolution of North America, NAFTA is a continuation of ongoing forces. On the other hand, as a harbinger of increased Western Hemispheric and North Atlantic economic integration, NAFTA could mark the beginning of a trend towards a much wider and deeper integration which will have profound implications for national economic conditions. This is particularly true insofar as it applies to US-Mexico relations. In spite of the 2,000 mile common border, history, culture and politics have conspired to make US-Mexican relations far less cordial and trusting than US-Canadian relations. NAFTA in this context represents the possibility for change.


BEFORE INDUSTRIALIZATION

From the vantage point of the post- World War II era, it is frequently assumed that the United States has always favored free and open markets. It is often noted that the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain, was

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North American Economic Integration: Theory and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vi
  • Tables vii
  • Notes on Authors viii
  • Preface xi
  • Part I 1
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Nafta in the Global Context 5
  • 2 - International Integration: Theory and Practice 23
  • 3 - The Global Economy after World War II 67
  • Part II 101
  • 4 - The United States after World War II 117
  • 5 - Canada's Economic Development and Integration 157
  • 6 - Mexico's Economic Development 207
  • Part III 249
  • Introduction 251
  • 7 - North American Economic Integration: Trial by Fire 253
  • 8 - Nafta and Beyond 279
  • References 317
  • Glossary 327
  • Index 339
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