What Is The Significance Of The North American Free Trade Agreement

If the Trans-Pacific Partnership of Origin (TPP) were to enter into force, existing agreements, such as NAFTA, would be reduced to provisions that do not conflict with the TPP or require greater trade liberalization than the TPP. [155] However, only Canada and Mexico would have the prospect of becoming members of the TPP after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in January 2017. In May 2017, the remaining 11 members of the TPP, including Canada and Mexico, agreed to pursue a revised version of the trade agreement without U.S. participation. [156] Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the United States and the second largest export market for U.S. products. In 2018, Mexico was our third largest trading partner (after Canada and China) and the second largest export market. Total trade in goods and services totaled $678 billion and this trade directly and indirectly supports millions of jobs in the United States. In 2018, the United States sold $265 billion in U.S. products to Mexico and $34 billion in services for a total of $299 billion in U.S. sales to Mexico.

Mexico is the top or second largest export destination for 27 U.S. states. NAFTA has not eliminated regulatory requirements for companies wishing to act internationally, such as rules of origin and documentation obligations, that determine whether certain products can be traded under NAFTA. The free trade agreement also provides for administrative, civil and criminal sanctions for companies that violate the laws or customs procedures of the three countries. Some small businesses have been directly affected by NAFTA. In the past, large firms have always had an advantage over small businesses, as large firms could afford to build and maintain offices and/or production sites in Mexico, which avoided many of the old trade restrictions on exports. In addition, pre-NAFTA legislation provided that U.S. service providers who wanted to do business in Mexico had to establish a physical presence there, which was simply too expensive for small businesses.

Small businesses were stuck, they could not afford to build, and they could not afford export tariffs either. NAFTA eliminated the competitive conditions by giving small businesses the opportunity to export to Mexico at the same costs as larger firms and removing the requirement that a company establish a physical presence in Mexico to do business there. The lifting of these restrictions meant that large new markets were suddenly open to small businesses that had previously done business only in the United States. This was considered particularly important for small businesses that produced goods or services that had matured in the U.S. markets. Instead, the number of Mexican immigrants more than doubled, again between 1990 and 2000, when it approached 9.2 million. According to Pew, the river has reversed, at least temporarily. Between 2009 and 2014, 140,000 more Mexicans left the United States than they did, probably due to the effects of the financial crisis. One of the reasons NAFTA did not cause the expected reduction in immigration was the peso crisis from 1994 to 1995, which sent the Mexican economy into recession. Another thing is that the reduction of tariffs on Mexican maize has not prompted Mexican corn growers to plant other more lucrative crops.