WHAT IT IS
More exports, more money
Since NAFTA was signed in 1994, U.S. trade has more than tripled with its North American neighbors. Canada and Mexico are the two largest importers of U.S. products.8
No other two countries conduct as much trade as the U.S. and Mexico, who completed $480 billion last year.9 This all could change if NAFTA ends.
NAFTA increased U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by adding up to $80 billion to the economy. Some economists estimate that nearly 14 million jobs rely on NAFTA-created trade agreements.10
With no tariffs on goods, Americans were able to purchase items at a lower price. For example, gas prices were lower for Americans since it was less expensive to purchase oil from Mexico.
Not buying American
There was an imbalance between the countries. Americans bought $55.6 billion more goods and services from Mexico than Mexico bought from the U.S.11
Some argue that NAFTA led to a loss of manufacturing jobs across the U.S. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the U.S. automotive sector lost roughly 350,000 jobs between 1994 and 2016. Many of those jobs were taken by workers in Mexico, where the auto sector added over 400,000 jobs in the same period.12
Some see NAFTA as the reason some companies exported jobs, which put non-college educated workers in direct competition with lower-paid workers from other countries, such as Mexico.13
WHERE WE ARE NOW
June 2018: President Trump imposed tariffs on the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Mexico. This violated the NAFTA agreement.14
- President Trump created a 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminum tariff on those countries.
- Mexico retaliated by imposing $3 billion worth of tariffs on American pork, steel, cheese, and other goods.15
- Canadian Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau stated he would retaliate by placing Canadian tariffs on American-made goods, and has recently rejected revised NAFTA terms from the Trump administration.
- Steelworkers are pleading with President Trump to end the tariffs.16