NAFTA

  • 03.31.17

    Did NAFTA Help Mexico? An Update After 23 Years

    This paper from the Center for Economic Policy Research compares the performance of the Mexican economy with that of the rest of the region and with its own economic performance, over the 23 years since NAFTA took effect, based on the available economic and social indicators. Among the results, it finds that Mexico...

    This paper from the Center for Economic Policy Research compares the performance of the Mexican economy with that of the rest of the region and with its own economic performance, over the 23 years since NAFTA took effect, based on the available economic and social indicators. Among the results, it finds that Mexico ranks 15th out of 20 Latin American countries in growth of real GDP per person, the most basic economic measure of living standards; Mexico’s poverty rate in 2014 was higher than the poverty rate of 1994; and real (inflation-adjusted) wages were almost the same in 2014 as in 1994. It also notes that if NAFTA had been successful in restoring Mexico’s pre-1980 growth rate — when developmentalist economic policies were the norm — Mexico today would be a high-income country, with income per person comparable to Western European countries. If not for Mexico’s long-term economic failure, including the 23 years since NAFTA, it is unlikely that immigration from Mexico would have become a major political issue in the United States, since relatively few Mexicans would seek to cross the border. 

    Tags: NAFTA, Trade, Mexico
  • 02.28.17

    NAFTA’s Legacy: Expanding Corporate Power to Attack Public Interests Laws

    This fact sheet from citizen.org looks at the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and specifically the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS): "NAFTA grants rights to thousands of multinational corporations to bypass domestic courts and directly "sue" the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments." It des...

    This fact sheet from citizen.org looks at the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and specifically the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS): "NAFTA grants rights to thousands of multinational corporations to bypass domestic courts and directly “sue” the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments." 

    It describes the legal basis for theses ISDS. ISDS gives multinational corporations the ability to challenge new government policies if corporations claim these policies violate their NAFTA rights. "More than $392 million in compensation has already been paid out to corporations in a series of investor-state cases under NAFTA." When looking specifically at what sorts of claims are made "of the 11 claims (for more than $36 billion) currently pending under NAFTA, nearly all relate to environmental, energy, financial, public health, land use and transportation policies – not traditional trade issues."

    The fact sheet then lists and describes a number of the cases that have been brought under NAFTA.