Publication Type

NAFTA 20 Years Later

Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs (PIIE), Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE), Barbara Kotschwar (PIIE), Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty (President, McLarty Associates), Eduardo Medina Mora (Ambassador of Mexico to the United States), Theodore H. Moran (PIIE), Tyler Moran (PIIE), Lindsay Oldenski (PIIE), Adam S. Posen (PIIE), Jaana Remes (McKinsey Global Institute) and Jeffrey J. Schott (PIIE)
PIIE Briefings 14-3

Essays and Presentations at the Peterson Institute for International Economics Assessing the Record Two Decades after Approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement.


Enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Mexico, and Canada 20 years ago advanced economic integration and started a public debate running to today about the merits of trade agreements in the era of globalization. As the first major trade accord between two wealthy countries and a relatively poor country, NAFTA created enormous opportunities in all three economies while generating anxieties about job losses and other kinds of displacement. Mexico and the United States have clearly reaped great gains at the aggregate level from their more open trading and investment relationship, but NAFTA is frequently invoked as a job-killing precedent by opponents of further US trade agreements with poorer countries. On July 15, 2014, the Peterson Institute for International Economics convened a conference, "Mexico and the United States: Building on the Benefits of NAFTA," to assess both benefits and costs derived from this important trade accord. In addition, the Institute's president, Adam S. Posen, has summarized his view of the impact in an op-ed essay. This report, part of a new series of publications called PIIE Briefings, collects recent writings by PIIE scholars on NAFTA, including some previously published papers and the transcript of the NAFTA conference. The Institute is proud that these papers and presentations are in keeping with our customary intellectual rigor, objectivity, and research-based conclusions.



1 The Errors of Conservatives Obscure the Case for Trade
Adam S. Posen

2 NAFTA at 20: Misleading Charges and Positive Achievements
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Cathleen Cimino, and Tyler Moran
Data disclosure: The data underlying this analysis are available here [xlsx].

3 A Tale of Two Mexicos: Growth and Prosperity in a Two-speed Economy
Jaana Remes

4 How US Investments in Mexico Have Increased Investment and Jobs at Home
Theodore H. Moran and Lindsay Oldenski

5 The Accomplishments of the Pacific Alliance
Barbara Kotschwar

6 Updating NAFTA: Implications of the Trans-Pacific and Transatlantic Partnerships
Jeffrey J. Schott

7 A Vision for North American Economic Integration
Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty

8 Challenges from NAFTA: A Mexican Perspective
Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora