US President Donald Trump opposed it during his election campaign and promised to renegotiate the agreement and “open it” if the US could not get its desired concessions. A renegotiated agreement between the United States and Mexico-Canada was adopted in 2020 to update NAFTA. But why did Trump and many of his supporters see NAFTA as “the worst trade deal of all time,” while others saw their main flaw as a lack of ambition and the solution as even more regional integration? What did we promise? What was delivered? Who were the winners of NAFTA and who were the losers? Read on to learn more about the history of the agreement, as well as the key players in the agreement, and how they paid off. In 2015, the Congressional Research Service concluded that “NAFTA`s overall net impact on the U.S. economy appears to be relatively small, not least because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP. However, there have been adjustment costs for workers and businesses as the three countries have prepared for more open trade and investment between their economies. The report also estimated that nafta has added $80 billion to the U.S. economy since its inception, a 0.5% increase in U.S. GDP.  And the expansion of trade, in turn, has contributed centrally to America`s excellence. From the early to mid-1990s, trade was an important driver of growth. However, over the decade, the contribution of trade has increasingly been a drag on inflation, which probably gave the Federal Reserve a little more leeway to deal with the 1998 financial crisis.
Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that these jobs went to Mexico. Wages in Mexico are only a fraction of what they are in the United States. All major U.S. automakers now have factories south of the border, and before Trump`s Twitter campaign against Offshoring, some openly planned to ship more jobs overseas. But while job losses are hard to deny, they can be less severe than in a hypothetical world without NAFTA. Led by the automotive industry, the largest export category, Mexican producers have a trade surplus of $58.8 billion for goods with the United States. Before NAFTA, there was a deficit. They also contributed to the growth of a small educated middle class: Mexico had about nine engineering graduates per 10,000 people in 2015, compared to seven in the United States. Finally, it is worth briefly mentioning how trade policy was coordinated within the Clinton administration.