The North American Free Trade Agreement: Labor, Industry, and Government Perspectives

The North American Free Trade Agreement: Labor, Industry, and Government Perspectives

The North American Free Trade Agreement: Labor, Industry, and Government Perspectives

The North American Free Trade Agreement: Labor, Industry, and Government Perspectives

Synopsis

After more than two years of negotiations, in December 1992, the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. During the months leading up to the signing, labor, industry, environment, and religious groups from the three countries actively debated and lobbied their respective trade negotiators to gain support for their particular concerns. Lobbying by these groups continues as policy deliberations shift from treaty negotiations to the submission of enabling legislation and, ultimately in the United States, congressional authorization. This volume brings together key spokespeople from labor, industry, and government, and presents the main arguments for and against the Free Trade Agreement as well as views on the Agreement's impact.

Excerpt

Debate surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has escalated among the three countries involved--the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The 1992 presidential election campaign in the United States provided impetus for ongoing discussions. Over the months ahead this debate will no doubt center on dissimilarities in NAFTA policy that exist between the Clinton White House and Congress and the need for supplemental "side" agreements to remedy these differences. In Canada and Mexico the debate tempo increased as trade negotiations were approaching finality. Moreover, debate in these countries is expected to accelerate in advance of Canada's forthcoming 1993 and Mexico's forthcoming 1994 national elections.

NAFTA discussions initially seemed to feature intergovernment and industry-based trade and tariff tug-of-wars. However, during 1991 and 1992 the debate's center of gravity changed to concerns about the impact NAFTA will have on workers and the environment. Proponents of NAFTA claim that the accord will increase trade throughout the Americas, moderate product prices, and create new jobs in all three countries. Critics claim just as adamantly that the proposed accord will degrade blue-collar employment, wages, and environmental standards throughout North America. Moreover, they claim that jobs will move to Mexico due in part to the wide disparity in labor market regulations and wages existing between the United States/ Canada and Mexico. While many claim that Canada has already lost several thousand jobs as a result of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, some U.S. and Canadian groups fear that both countries will experience significant job losses to Mexico, a low-wage developing country that is ripe with opportunities for investment and poised for economic growth. Much of the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.