Thursday, April 27, 2017

So Is NAFTA a Success?

Tonelson has a very interesting statistic here. 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, North America’s share of global goods exports was 17.9 percent. By 2015, it had shrunk to 14.4 percent. The U.S. share during this period fell from 12.6 percent to 9.4 percent, and the Canadian share decreased even faster – from 3.9 percent to 2.6 percent (no doubt, however, largely due to falling prices for the oil it exports so abundantly). 
Mexico’s share of global exports did increase – from 1.4 percent to 2.4 percent. But surely that improvement stemmed mainly from selling to the United States, not to any non-North American customers.

The North American share of world merchandise imports did decrease during this period as well. But the decline was much smaller, and one quick look at the U.S. trend makes clear that the lion’s share of this improvement has resulted from the recent, dramatic turnaround in American energy trade patterns – which have nothing to do with NAFTA or any other supply chains....

Boy, oh, boy, that was really, really, really a BIG help to the US economy, eh?

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