- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

A Study of Impact of Nafta and Lessons for Saarc

By:   •  Research Paper  •  2,127 Words  •  April 4, 2010  •  738 Views

Page 1 of 9

A Study of Impact of Nafta and Lessons for Saarc


The United States, Canada and Mexico started NAFTA and formed free trade agreement in Jan 1994. The express purpose of it was to liberalize trade in goods and services, remove barriers to investment, strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights; and establish a framework for further trilateral cooperation. The agreement is based on principals of non-discriminatory treatment and transparency. It consists of 24 chapters and about1000 pages covering various sectors of economy. The provisions are to eliminate all trade barriers by 2008. There has been significant achievement with elimination of more than 99% trade barriers. The over all impact when comparing with the stated objectives has been extremely positive. The trade has been doubled from $302 billion in1993 to $652 billion in 2003 between the countries. U.S. Exports to Canada & Mexico increased from $142 billion to $267 billion in NAFTA’s first decade, significantly higher than average increase of trade with other countries, which stands at 41%.

It has proven to be a boon for all the three economies in this decade. American Economy grew by 38%, Canadian Economy by 41%, Mexican Economy by 33%. GDP of US grew at 22%, Canada at 33% and Mexico at 12%. U.S. Exports to Canada grew 63%, it’s largest trading partner. U.S. trade to Mexico also increased its share from 7.8% to 11.9% and replaced Japan as the second largest trading partner.

The real impact of the agreement has been the increase in productivity to the tune of 53% in U.S., 55% in Mexico and 23% in Canada. This has clear implication on improving the region’s competitiveness in the global economy. This has also helped in reducing unemployment level in all the three countries, which has reduced in U.S. from 6.9% to 5.7% during the 10-year period starting from 1993 to 2003. Canada’s unemployment in the corresponding period reduced from 11.4% to 7.6% and Mexico from 3.4% to 3.3%.

The main benefit has been NAFTA-related trade and investment liberalization that has allowed U.S. firms to find new markets in Canada and Mexico. It has also helped in maximizing efficiencies gained in terms of global competitiveness, and increased sales to other world markets as well.

In the automobile sector the U.S Exports of new passenger vehicles and light trucks totaled less than $95 million. They jumped by 500 percent to reach 584 million in 1994, the first year of the agreement. By the end of 2003, U.S. exports to Mexico totaled $3.2billion, a 3400 percent increase in shipments as compared to 1993.

Exports of agricultural equipment by U.S. increased 46 and 93 percent to Canada and Mexico, respectively, while exports to the rest of the world grew at 37%. Similarly, trade between countries in chemicals including plastics, solvents, thinners etc. has increased substantially.

U.S. firms exported a total of $53.6 billion in environmental technology products and services in 2002, including $11.2 billion to Canada and $7.7 billion to Mexico. Together, Canada and Mexico account for more than one-third of total U.S. exports of environmental technologies.

U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico of information and communication technology (ICT) account for 29 percent and they are the two largest export markets respectively. Exports to Mexico increased by 239 percent from 1992 to 2002. The packaged software market alone in Canada and Mexico was worth $4.5 billion in 2002, triple the before 1994 market size. Elimination of non-tariff barriers was also important for the ICT industry, which realized benefits through more transparent commercial dealings, removal of investment barriers, and the opening of Mexico's government procurement market for U.S. suppliers. There are also benefits from stronger intellectual property rights protection including increased protection of Hardware and Software designs. The other advantages have been duty- free raw materials, ease of logistics planning among border factories, and lower operating costs along the border-trading zone.

U.S. exports of medical equipment to Canada and Mexico have also increased. Exporters benefit from uniform customs procedures, greater transparency in standards and government procurement, and stronger protection for intellectual properties such as product processes and formulas.

U.S. combined pharmaceutical exports to Canada and Mexico increased 144 percent from 1992 to 2002 -- greater than the 125 percent increase in exports to the rest of the world. Lower tariffs on pharmaceuticals have made available greater choices for the inputs needed for Pharmaceutical production. A well placed patent regime in Mexico and dramatically improved compliance at patent regime and has given Cos. a favorable environment to launch

Continue for 8 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay A Study of Impact of Nafta and Lessons for Saarc
Download as (for upgraded members)