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NAFTA Five Years of Failure In December of 1992 Presidents Salinas Mexico Bush US and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA The Mexican legislature ratified NAFTA in 1993 and the treaty went into effect on January 1 1994 creating the largest free-trade zone in the world NAFTAs promoters promised 200000 new jobs per year for the US higher wages in Mexico and a growing US trade surplus with Mexico environmental clean-up and improved health along the border The reality of the post-NAFTA surge in imports from Mexico has resulted in an 147 billion trade deficit with Mexico for 1998 By adding the Mexican trade deficit to the deficit with Canada the overall US NAFTA trade deficit for the year 1998 is 332 billion dollars In the last five years we have gone from a pre-NAFTA trade surplus of 46 billion with Mexico to a 147 billion deficit Using the Department of Commerce trade data in the formula used by NAFTA proponents to predict job gains the real accumulated NAFTA trade deficit would translate into over four hundred thousand US jobs lost A number of companies that specifically promised to create new jobs actually laid workers off because of the agreement Allied Signal General Electric Mattel Proctor and Gamble Scott Paper and Zenith all made specific promises to create jobs and all have laid workers off because of NAFTA as certified by the US Department of Labors special NAFTA unemployment assistance program NAFTA TAA 1 These are not the only companies who broke their promise of new jobs In February 1997 Public Citizens Global Trade Watch conducted an investigation of companies that had specifically promised that they would create jobs if NAFTA were enacted in 1993 Of the 67 companies studied 60 had not created jobs or even increased their exports to Mexico When
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