WHAT IT IS
- The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a free trade deal between Mexico, Canada and the United States that was struck in 1994.
- NAFTA’s cut to tariffs have caused substantial trade growth between the three countries, but some areas are seeing job loss.
- NAFTA and other free trade deals have become political footballs used by politicians campaigning for office.
WHY IT MATTERS
With the U.S. having already withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, leaving NAFTA could signal a real shift away from free trade that the U.S. has long championed. The U.S. could be shifting towards a more protectionist, nationalist economic policy.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Within the three member countries, the U.S. public has the most negative opinions about NAFTA.
- Mainstream Republicans and Democrats a like are opposing President Trump appointees if they are seen as holding negative views of the trade agreement.
- President Trump is considering starting a process of withdrawal from NAFTA and had campaigned on “getting a better deal”.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Are the positives or negatives only perceived effects of a rapidly changing, up and down world economy?
- Are localized job losses worth long-term, broad reaching economic growth?
- Could President Trump’s trade policies splinter the Republican party, with mainstream moderates favoring free trade and NAFTA?
- If the U.S. withdrew from NAFTA, would it’s consumers be okay with an increase in prices for everyday goods?