Wednesday, October 18, 2017

About This "Renegotiating NAFTA" Thing ...

While I'm sympathetic to the plight of that percentage of the U.S. population that has seen stagnant wage growth for the last 30-40 years, I also think it's important to highlight the data underlying trade with Canada and Mexico post-NAFTA -- data which shows that someone benefited from the agreements as well.  To that end, consider these two charts:

NAFTA was put into force at the beginning of 1994, which, coincidentally, is when the two charts above begin.  The top panel shows total US exports to Mexico, while the bottom shows total US exports to Canada.  Between the years 1994 and 2017, total exports to Mexico increased 8 fold while those to Canada were up 3 fold.  In other words, there were also clear winners on the US side.  

     There are problems with trade -- there always are.  But there are also benefits, which have been greatly overlooked over the last few years.