NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Big Gains For Mexico From Free Trade

February 16, 2001

Life has improved for citizens on both sides of the border since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) unleashed an exchange of goods worth $229 billion annually to the two countries.

  • Mexicans such as truck drivers have seen wages grow 150 percent as unemployment has fallen below two percent.
  • Americans have seen the economy surpass the Clinton administration prediction that NAFTA would create 200,000 new jobs.
  • Americans also get low-priced Mexican goods, such as produce, computers and cars.

In addition, Mexico dumped the old guard, and elected a new leader who wants to change U.S.-Mexico political and social relations.

  • Mexico has made way for the extradition of drug traffickers and other criminals to the U.S. to face justice.
  • Mexico has pledged to stop publicly defending Cuba's poor human rights record.
  • Legislation is underway to allow private investment in electricity production -- meaning new power plants and potential gains for power-starved areas of the U.S.
  • Mexican officials have pledged to work to solve immigration problems, predicting that with prosperity rising thanks to trade, in 10 years fewer Mexicans will feel the need to seek jobs illegally in the U.S.

Source: Editorial, "Bush Border Crossing Salutes U.S.-Mexican Trade Gains," USA Today, February 16, 2001.

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