List of Pros and Cons of NAFTA

A perspective on the pros and cons of NAFTA depend largely on what country you live in and in some instances what state in the United States you operate a business in. The consideration of the pros and cons of NAFTA are indelibly linked to membership in the Democratic or Republican parties as well.

List of Pros of NAFTA

1. Reduce Trade Deficit
Trade from the United States to Mexico and Canada increased by an average of $150 billion per year since NAFTA became law. NAFTA did reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Mexico and Canada and produced a trade surplus in the United States favor of $28 billion after 15 years of trade.

2. Increased Investment of Tangible Assets
The investment of United States dollars in tangible assets in Mexico, South America, and Canada has increased by about two percent a year since the initiation of NAFTA. Tangible assets include mining, manufacturing, insurance, and banking.

List of Cons of NAFTA

1. Excessive Pollution
The countries that have received U.S. investment dollars complain of overdue influence in their political activities. There have been several reports of excessive pollution produced by U. S. owned companies in countries that do not always have strict environmental standards like the U.S. has.

2. Increased Mobility of People Across Borders
NAFTA greatly influenced the mobility of people across U. S. and Canadian borders. Many politicians fault NAFTA with the ever increasing stream of illegal immigrants from Mexico and South America. Many people may not be aware that Canada has also seen a huge increase in immigrants from Mexico and from the United States as a result of NAFTA.

3. Less Competition
Many small businesses argue that NAFTA has made their operations less competitive due to the low wages that Hispanic immigrants are willing to work for. The construction and hospitality sectors have been adversely affected due to NAFTA.

4. Lower Wage Workers
Larger national and international businesses still hire undocumented immigrants for low wages. The lower wages that immigrants work for has not produced a trickle-down effect to lower prices for any manufactured good, food, or commodity in the United States.

5. Decreased Economical Viability
Mexico lodged complaints with the U.S. in 2000 that subsidized corn had made Mexican-grown corn less economically viable. The growth of the ethanol fuel business in the United States has reversed the purported inequality. Now U.S. corn growers are complaining about dumping of Mexican corn in the U.S. Market.

6. No Financial Compensation
A large number of Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. companies have filed for bankruptcy and sought remuneration from the governments of the three nations citing NAFTA as the cause of their loss. To date no government has awarded any company any settlement for a loss that resulted from NAFTA.

7. Environmental Concerns
The continuing debate over the Keystone Pipeline really does fall under the auspices of NAFTA. The Democrats that supported NAFTA now do not opt to support the agreement completely based on environmental concerns. The Republicans that fought NAFTA and have continued to do so have hinted at using NAFTA as a basis for proceeding with the Keystone project.

By and large the pros of NAFTA have outweighed the cons for the United States financially. The people that may have lost their jobs due to immigration are allowed to retrain at the expense of the taxpayer. The recent increase in jobs in the U. S. has little to do with NAFTA. One could expect NAFTA to be a continuing bone of contention as long as the political climate in the U. S. is so divisive.