NAFTA @ 20 at the Baker Institute: Trade Pact’s Significance Is Debated

The conference held on April 7 brought back together senior officials from the 1980s and early 1990s who were instrumental in the negotiation of the U.S.-Canada FTA as well as NAFTA.

Today, there is no consensus as to the significance of NAFTA. Carla Hills cited the growth of trade statistics, but the numbers include intrafirm trading: the commercial transactions between GM Detroit and GM Mexico. Jaime Serra noted that the economic cycles of the three countries move together. Michael Wilson noted that advances had slowed down since 2001, and that Canada can no longer look at the U.S. as the natural export market for its oil and gas. Daniel Lederman at the World Bank notes that the China Effect is more important than NAFTA in explaining the growth of the Mexican economy. Under the heading of “Reflections,” the report offers reasons for skepticism and concern.

Page 1 of this report may be downloaded here.

Titles of reports related to NAFTA may be downloaded here.

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Written by

George Baker

Baker & Associates offers niche-market business and policy intelligence related to Mexico's oil and gas, power and chemical industries. Over 1,000 reports have been issued in the last 20 years. Subject matter expert and publisher George Baker, who directs the firm, has carried out consulting assignments starting in the late 1970s at the height of the Oil Boom in Mexico. He brings bilingual and bicultural skill-sets to understanding and responding to challenges of business and public policy, coupled with a deep familiarity with the history and idiosyncrasies of the Mexican operating environment.