Who Did Nafta Benefit The Most?

1041 words - 5 pages

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect on the first day of 1994. It was signed by Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Covering almost 450 million of population along with combined GDP of $17 trillion, NAFTA proudly ranks the first among the world’s free trade agreements. (USTR) It is usually seen as a success for it has brought countless benefits to its members. Some of NAFTA’s main advantages are promoting closer relationships, eliminating trade barriers, and increasing market opportunities. However, and as the first proposer of NAFTA, the United States has indeed benefited the most from it in several different aspects.
First and foremost, the initial purpose of NAFTA is to promote economy. Undoubtedly, it is mostly in favor of the U.S. One of the most important factors that determines a country's economic strength is GDP. Surprisingly, NAFTA is estimated to boost the American GDP by 0.5% a year, approximately $50 billion. According to long term statistics, 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, 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 low tariffs and low 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 than Canada does, vice versa. As an example, NAFTA was to “permit eventual full access across each member...

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