NAFTA & GATT
RE: NAFTA and GATT in the next 10 ye

NAFTA & GATT

RE: NAFTA and GATT in the next 10 ye

NAFTA and GATT have both been described as historic agreements. They have been promoted by supporters as necessary economic moves for the United States, and both are intended to reduce tariffs, promote trade, and in the long run increase productivity. Critics claim that each will enmesh the United States in an agreement with foreign nations that will benefit those nations more than it benefits the United States and that might indeed prove detrimental to U.S. interests by lowering employment, increasing the flight of businesses to other countries with lower labor costs, and increasing imports while reducing exports. Concerns have been raised as to potential problems, with such concerns being raised by business, industry, labor, and consumers.

NAFTA is a historic agreement that may not have been examined as closely as it should on either side of the border. Mexico conducts as much as 90 percent of her trade with the United States. The premise of the agreement is that free trade should be left exclusively to the free market. In practice, this means giving free rein to those who command the most power and the most wealth. The agreement also covers only things economic, such as financial matters, investment, intellectual property, and commerce as well as dispute resolution, banking, transportation, and services. It does not include other topics–the political, the social, the environmental (at least not directly), the cultural. Castaneda and Heredia, writing for a Mexican magazine, find the agreement to be a bad deal for Mexico because it does not recognize the enormous disparities between Mexico and the United States. Special treatment for Mexico has been removed by the Mexican government because the leadership wants to see Mexico as a country joining the First world and not as a more backward economy needing special help. Castaneda and Heredia state that a good agreement would include the following:

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