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Who Did Nafta Benefit The Most?

1428 words - 6 pages

After a lengthy negotiation of over 3 years, Canada, the United States, and Mexico reached an agreement on trilateral trade ― the North American Free Trade Agreement. Commonly referred to as NAFTA, it came into effect on the first day of 1994. Covering 450 million of population and reaching $17 trillion in combined GDP, NAFTA proudly ranks the first among the world’s free trade agreements (USTR). It is usually seen as a remarkable success for the countless benefits it brings to its members. Some of NAFTA’s main advantages are promoting closer relationships, eliminating trade barriers, and increasing market opportunities. However, as the first proposer of NAFTA, the United States has indeed benefited the most from it in several different aspects.
First and foremost, the primary purpose of NAFTA is to promote economy. From this “money” perspective, free trade is mostly in favor of the U.S. One of the major factors that determines a country's economic strength is GDP. Surprisingly, NAFTA is estimated to boost American GDP by 0.5% a year, approximately $50 billion in 2000. Moreover, in 2003, 10 years after NAFTA was established, United States experienced the most significant economic growth ― 38%, compared to 30% in Canada and 31% in Mexico. Keep in mind that the U.S. had a larger base of growth. In addition to that, the United States has the largest manufacturing-based economy in North America. This type of economy generally consumes huge natural resources, while the majority comes from imports, one example being Japan. United States, unlike Japan, does have a significant amount of resources, but for oil or lumber, Canada and Mexico are definitely the best exporters. Almost one-third of U.S.'s imports come from these two NAFTA countries.(america’s top import partners) The States, as the largest importer in North America, surly benefited the most from NAFTA’s reduced tariffs and transportation costs. To some extent, this also helped in reducing inflation rate in the U.S. From an economy type perspective, United States has a manufacturing-based economy that typically produces goods from raw materials, while Canada and Mexico have resource-based economies. They export resources to the U.S., and the latter manufactures goods out of the resources and export them to make profits. Since manufacturing needs a lot of workers, NAFTA not only grants the United States incomes, but also provides job opportunities. All of these benefits in the other two countries are not as significant as in the U.S. Therefore, economically, the United States gained the most from NAFTA.
Geographically, United States is in between Canada and Mexico. This advantage is magnified by NAFTA and helped in the spread of American culture in North America. Among all three countries that signed the agreement, the U.S. is usually considered to have the most connections with the other two members. It has common boundaries with both Canada and Mexico, hence it has more influences to Mexico...

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