October 09, 2006


Caption: Seamus McGoogle prepares to mount the barricades in defense of the toiling masses. After this nap.

Twelve years after the passage of NAFTA, its promises remain unfulfilled for workers in the US, Mexico, and Canada.

In the US, workers were promised that the trade agreement would create jobs and improve the balance of trade between this country and Mexico and Canada.

The reality is starkly different, as the Economic Policy Institute reports.

Between 1994 and 2004 the NAFTA-related trade deficit grew year by year from $9 billion in 1993 to $112 billion. Gains in import-related jobs were far from equaling losses in export-related jobs.

The U.S. as a whole saw a net job creation of 941,459 due to NAFTA. Unfortunately, 1,956,750 jobs were lost. Altogether, EPI estimates a net loss of 1,015,290 jobs nationwide due to NAFTA over 10 years. This represents 0.8 percent of net employment.

A similar pattern is apparent in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, which saw 5,984 NAFTA-related jobs created and 11,918 jobs lost, for a net loss of 5,984.

But NAFTA has also caused problems for workers in Canada and Mexico. For a complete report and state-by-state information, check Revisiting NAFTA: Still not working for North America's Workers
NAFTA was the template for CAFTA, which has even worse provisions and which narrowly passed Congress in 2005. Similar trade deals are in the works unless people take action to stop them. This might be another reason to pay attention in November.


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