NAFTA Has Staying Power, Especially If Texas Supporters Keep Speaking Out

In one of his first acts in Washington, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade deal involving a dozen countries.Unwinding the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada would be much tougher, even if Trump wants to go there.That’s no accident. Before NAFTA took effect 23 years ago, Mexico was angling for more than easy access to U.S. consumers, which is usually the primary goal for a developing country.Mexico wanted an accord that would also benefit the U.S. and Canada, and strengthen economic ties among all three countries. Such multi-sided trade deals are more stable and durable, and that’s helpful when there’s a change in popular opinion -- or elected leaders.NAFTA has created impressive growth in trade and jobs, especially for Texas. But it’s also spawned large networks of suppliers and manufacturers whose goods often criss-cross the border before final assembly.“The North American trade agreement has evolved,” Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez, Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S., told reporters from The Dallas Morning News last week. “It’s about joint production. It’s about the supply chains that go throughout Mexico and the United States. And that is not often known.”  Continue reading...

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