As (NAFTA, 20 Years Later: Do the Benefits


As for the agricultural
business, NAFTA has created competition between Mexican farmers and the United
States with the production of corn. This put almost two million Mexican farmers
out of work, thus beginning the trend of migration. Because these farmers were
put out of work on their own soil, they started migrating to the United States
seeking out jobs (Hanson, 2017). This has caused farmers to give up instead of
planting other crops. This is when illegal immigration started to peak. Since
then, the number of Mexican immigrants have doubled to nine point two million
in 2000 (Floyd, 2017).

Since the beginning of
the free trade agreement, the United States has lost 60.8% of their
manufacturing jobs due to the competition against Mexico and their lower wages
(NAFTA, 20 Years Later: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?, 2014). This has
also caused many of these job opportunities to shift over to China for low
wages, as well. NAFTA has now been selected as the root of the problem for the
loss of American manufacturing jobs. Since 2008 when the financial crisis hit
America, the unemployment rate has not moved much, staying above six-point five
percent that was up until 2014. (Floyd, 2017) The agreement has also been named
as the reason for the lowered wages and increased inequality of jobs (North
American Free Trade Agreement, 2017).

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In the past, many presidential candidates such as Barack Obama,
Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, and etc., have made the pledge to update the
agreement up to current standards (Amadeo, History of NAFTA and Its Purpose,
2017). Today, the recently elected president, Donald Trump has threatened to
withdraw the United States from NAFTA if Mexico and Canada do not agree to meet
the terms he has provided them. President Trump also wants Mexico to eliminate
the maquiladora program and the VAT tax on United States exports (Amadeo,
History of NAFTA and Its Purpose, 2017). Trump would also like to add a
thirty-five percent tariff on to Mexican imports, this is because he claims
Mexico is benefiting at the expense of the United States. The American economy
relies on several different countries for their imports. Mexico wants
permission to allow their trucks on American roads. Currently, in order for Mexican
truckers to deliver cargo to the U.S., they are having to unload twenty-five
miles from the border, where short haul vehicles will reload them onto domestic
trucks for final delivery, costing Americans between two and four hundred
million dollars (Sommer, 2008). Also, Canada wants the U.S. to end their
tariffs on lumber and dairy products. Several have urged for the president to update
the agreement, and not just end it. “But
for the love of God don’t do any harm to something that has been so
economically beneficial to states all across America,” -Glenn Hamer, president
and CEO of Arizona Chamber of Commerce (Helmore, 2017).

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