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The 20 year history of NAFTA

The 20 year history of NAFTA | The Beacon | Scoop.it
In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States. But to properly assess NAFTA’s record, it is important to first be clear about what the agreement has actually done. Economically speaking, the answer is a lot.

 

NAFTA was the first comprehensive free-trade agreement to join developed and developing nations, and it achieved broader and deeper market openings than any trade agreement had before.

NAFTA did that by eliminating tariffs on all industrial goods, guaranteeing unrestricted agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico, opening up a broad range of service sectors, and instituting national treatment for cross-border service providers. It also set high standards of protection for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

NAFTA ignited an explosion in cross-border economic activity. Today, Canada ranks as the United States’ largest single export market, and it sends 98 percent of its total energy exports to the United States, making Canada the United States’ largest supplier of energy products and services. Mexico is the United States’ second-largest single export market. Over the past two decades, a highly efficient and integrated supply chain has developed among the three North American economies.  Intraregional trade flows have increased by roughly 400 percent.

North Americans not only sell more things to one another; they also make more things together. About half of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico takes place between related companies, and the resulting specialization has boosted productivity in all three economies. NAFTA has also caused cross-border investment to soar.

In spite of this impressive economic record, NAFTA has its critics. Most of those who attack it on economic grounds focus on Mexico, not Canada, and claim that the partnership is one-sided: that NAFTA is Mexico’s gain and America’s pain. But the economic data prove otherwise.


Via Seth Dixon
Gary Yarus's insight:

A good review for those concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 7:42 PM

It is interesting to see exactly what NAFTA has done for North America.  Making trade easier and free between the three countries helps all the economies included.  Free trade between each other means less costly goods.  Also resources can be used from different countries and manufactured in steps not all in one place.  All of the negative comments about it being a one sided deal between the United States and Mexico can be argued with numbers about how it is in fact not a one sided agreement and both countries are benefiting from NAFTA being put in place.

David Lizotte's curator insight, January 24, 2015 3:55 PM

I found this to be an extremely interesting article. I'd say I have a basic comprehension of economics, so I am trying to expand my horizons and learn more about the topic. This article was clear, well-written/structured, and was a good read for someone not so experienced in Economics. 

I find the NAFTA agreement to be quite useful. The article did a good job at portraying many of the pros the agreement puts forth. It is clear that the three nations involved benefit. Throughout the article I was wondering if the agreement had been modified to accommodate todays new technology, trade goods, etc... The article then went and discussed this topic.The article did so through stating the importance in NAFTA branching out in other trade agreements, with nations in the Pacific as well as Nations in the EU. What's neat about this is how whether Mexico or Canada making the trade... all nations involved in the NAFTA agreement benefit. 

What I want to know however is where do these jobs, that this agreement creates are set geographically? I can only assume they are predominately in the South West (in regards to Mexico) and in the North/mid North West (in regards to Canada). Who are the people working these jobs? It seems like they'd be the immigrants themselves, not so much existing citizens. Does this create a problem amongst the masses? 

It seems as if NAFTA could benefit from expanding its trade market. This is something I am interested in reading more about and perhaps keeping up to date with. Side note... in regards to USA being able to buy capital in the countries "cross-border investment," and vis versa, I find it extremely useful and creative. 

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About "The Beacon"

About "The Beacon" | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Truth is, for our democracy to survive, it needs an engaged and informed citizenry applying both creative and critical thinking, to understand and solve the many challenges to our society. .

Living in a world of media abundance. we hope to nurture informed activism and amplify the voices of numerous grassroots movements, by helping to educate and empower people by sorting and filtering through the vast amount of useful Internet content, presenting it in a meaningful and organized way.

Content curation is a new form of digital media. As a content curator, I cherry pick the best from hundreds of Internet media sources,  and share high-value, often under-reported, quality content. My content curation is about  providing a customized, vetted selection on the major themes of democracy, activism, world peace, opposition to militarism, social justice, economic fairness, climate justice, environmental protection, and online freedom.

 

"The Beacon" is a project of http://BeaconMedia.US

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Look Who's Buying American Democracy

Look Who's Buying American Democracy | The Beacon | Scoop.it
According to an investigation by the New York Times, half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates—$176 million—has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control.
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Inside Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Charm American Policymakers and Journalists

Inside Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Charm American Policymakers and Journalists | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Soon after launching a brutal air and ground assault in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began devoting significant resources to a sophisticated public relations blitz in Washington, D.C.

The PR campaign is designed to maintain close ties with the U.S. even as the Saudi-led military incursion into the poorest Arab nation in the Middle East has killed nearly 6,000 people, almost half of them civilians.
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Why the CIA Is Smearing Edward Snowden After the Paris Attacks

Why the CIA Is Smearing Edward Snowden After the Paris Attacks | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity.

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What’s Really at Stake at the Paris Climate Conference Now Marches Are Banned

What’s Really at Stake at the Paris Climate Conference Now Marches Are Banned | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears.
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Signs of a Dying Society

Signs of a Dying Society | The Beacon | Scoop.it
While Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou are vilified for revealing vital information about spying and bombing and torture, a man who conspired with Goldman Sachs to make billions of dollars on the planned failure of subprime mortgages was honored by New York University for his "Outstanding Contributions to Society."

This is one example of the distorted thinking leading to the demise of a once-vibrant American society. There are other signs of decay:
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CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism

CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism | The Beacon | Scoop.it
CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology. This is the original tweet along with her subsequent expression of repentance:
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The One Question Reporters Never Ask Candidates

The One Question Reporters Never Ask Candidates | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Candidates for public office, especially at the state and national levels, are never asked this central question of politics: “Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution, how do you specifically propose to restore power to the people in their various roles as voters, taxpayers, workers and consumers?”
Gary Yarus's insight:

Another good question is: If elected, what are you going to do to end the corruption in Washington?

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After Paris Attacks, Vilifying Refugees

After Paris Attacks, Vilifying Refugees | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The attacks should not be used as a pretext in the West to shut down borders and conflate refugees with terrorism.
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Why Can’t the Public Know the Truth about Social Security?

Why Can’t the Public Know the Truth about Social Security? | The Beacon | Scoop.it
During the past three decades the American people have been kept in the dark about the true status of the Social Security program. Politicians, from both political parties, give out false and conflicting information on a regular basis, and nobody knows who to believe. At the Republican presidential debate, held in Boulder, Colorado, on the night of October 28, 2015, New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, shocked a lot of people when he said, “Let me be honest with the people who are watching at home. The government has lied to you and they have stolen from you. They told you that your Social Security money is in a trust fund. All that’s in the trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money they spent on something else a long time ago.”
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Dr. Allen W. Smith is a Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of seven books and has been researching and writing about Social Security financing for the past ten years. His latest book is Raiding the Trust Fund: Using Social Security Money to Fund Tax Cuts for the Rich. Read other articles by Allen, orvisit Allen's website.

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The Big Struggle Is the Financial Elite vs. Everyone Else

The Big Struggle Is the Financial Elite vs. Everyone Else | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The standard explanation for why average working people in advanced nations such as Britain and the United States have failed to gain much ground over the past several decades and are under increasing economic stress is that globalisation and technological change have made most people less competitive. The tasks we used to perform can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.
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The fatal trend among white working class Americans

The fatal trend among white working class Americans | The Beacon | Scoop.it
White working-class voters have been a key building block of the Republican coalition since the rise of the Reagan Democrats 35 years ago. You would think that the party’s presidential candidates would want to respond to the heartbreaking crisis these Americans are facing.
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U.S. imperialism was the real winner of the presidential debate

U.S. imperialism was the real winner of the presidential debate | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Journalists have a peculiar tradition of selecting a “winner” in presidential debates, as if such an adjudication were objective, and not a politically motivated evaluation. Marco Rubio was declared by many to be the “winner” of the fourth GOP presidential debate, on Nov. 10.

The real winner of the debate, however, was not any individual, but rather a system: U.S. imperialism.
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The Middle Class Is No Longer America's Economic Majority

The Middle Class Is No Longer America's Economic Majority | The Beacon | Scoop.it
There are now more low-income and high-income Americans combined than there are people in the middle class, a study released Wednesday found.

According to a Pew Research Center report, there were 120.8 million adults living in middle-income households and 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined in early 2015, marking the first time in the center's four decades of tracking this data that the size of the latter groups has transcended that of the first.
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A Revolving Door Helps Big Banks’ Quiet Campaign to Muscle Out Fannie and Freddie

A Revolving Door Helps Big Banks’ Quiet Campaign to Muscle Out Fannie and Freddie | The Beacon | Scoop.it
A behind-the-scenes effort of Wall Street banks to take over the mortgage market is driven by advocates who switch between roles in Washington and the private sector.
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America Is Too Dumb for TV News

America Is Too Dumb for TV News | The Beacon | Scoop.it
There are people of all political persuasions who insist to this day they saw something like what Trump described, but nobody describes anything like the scale of the story Trump is spinning. To believe there was a mass demonstration of open, gloating defiance right across the river from Manhattan while the Towers smoldered, speaks to a powerfully crazy fantasy both about American impotence and about a brazen, homogenous evil in Muslim-American communities.
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What you can do about the rigged Democratic Party primary system

What you can do about the rigged Democratic Party primary system | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Plutocracy: A country or society governed by the wealthy few. “America, today, is much closer to a plutocracy than a democracy.” Join the revolt against the plutocrats: Pledge to write-in Bernie Sa...
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The New Great Game Between China and the US

The New Great Game Between China and the US | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The U.S. is transfixed by its multibillion-dollar electoral circus. The European Union is paralyzed by austerity, fear of refugees, and now all-out jihad in the streets of Paris. So the West might be excused if it’s barely caught the echoes of a Chinese version of Roy Orbison’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” And that new Chinese dream even comes with a road map.
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Hang On to Your Wallet: Negative Interest, the War on Cash and the $10 Trillion Bail-In

Hang On to Your Wallet: Negative Interest, the War on Cash and the $10 Trillion Bail-In | The Beacon | Scoop.it
In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that fact. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is some deeper, darker threat afoot?
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Energy Revolution Is Possible... And It Would Only Take 782 Rich People To Pay For It

Energy Revolution Is Possible... And It Would Only Take 782 Rich People To Pay For It | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The personal fortunes of just 782 of the world's wealthiest people could power half the world—Africa, Latin America, and "most of Asia"—with 100 percent renewable energy within 15 years, according to a new report to be published Monday.
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How Organized Labor's Allegiance to Establishment Democrats is Killing Unions

How Organized Labor's Allegiance to Establishment Democrats is Killing Unions | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Hillary Clinton's latest union endorsement — this time, from the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — has, once again, been an example of union leadership prioritizing political connections in high places over the best interests of its members.
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To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account

To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account | The Beacon | Scoop.it

"And that includes the Saudi kings whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism.

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The Right's Anti-Minimum Wage Arguments Have Pretty Much Stayed the Same for 80 Years

The Right's Anti-Minimum Wage Arguments Have Pretty Much Stayed the Same for 80 Years | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Over the past year, the campaign to raise the minimum wage has been steadily accumulating prominence, political allies and, most importantly, successes. Not surprisingly, it has also occasioned a pushback from conservative politicians and columnists who view its increase as a misguided, self-defeating folly. 

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We need a new trust-busting movement in America

We need a new trust-busting movement in America | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Like immense amoebas on the prowl, America’s already huge corporations are combining like nobody’s business. In recent months, Walgreens bought Rite Aid, uniting two of the nation’s three largest drugstore chains; in beerland, Molson Coors is buying Miller ; mega-health insurers Aetna and Anthem, respectively, bought mega-health insurers Humana and Cigna ; Heinz bought Kraft, good news for those who take ketchup with their cheese; and American Airlines completed its absorption of US Airways, reducing the number of major U.S. airlines to four, which now control 70 percent of the air travel market. On Wall Street, the five biggest commercial banks hold nearly half of the nation’s bank assets; in 1990, the five biggest held just 10 percent.
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Climate change could push 100 million into extreme poverty, the World Bank has warned

Climate change could push 100 million into extreme poverty, the World Bank has warned | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 by disrupting agriculture and fuelling the spread of malaria and other diseases, the World Bank has said in a report.
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It’s a Scam! - The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century

It’s a Scam! - The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Let’s begin with the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills, Iraqi oil money held in the U.S.  The Bush administration began flying it into Baghdad on C-130s soon after U.S. troops entered that city in April 2003.  Essentially dumped into the void that had once been the Iraqi state, at least $1.2 to $1.6 billion of it was stolen and ended up years later in a mysterious bunker in Lebanon.  And that’s just what happened as the starting gun went off..

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