Jump to navigation

NAFTA Triumphant: Assessing Two Decades of Gains in Trade, Growth and Jobs

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 7:00pm

Executive Summary

  • As the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) marks its 20th anniversary this year, it’s critical to understand how the agreement has generated vast new opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, consumers, and businesses.
  • Since NAFTA entered into force in 1994, trade with Canada and Mexico has risen three-and-one-half fold to $1.2 trillion, and the two countries buy about one-third of U.S. merchandise exports.
  • Trade with Canada and Mexico supports nearly 14 million U.S. jobs, and nearly 5 million of these net jobs are supported by the increase in trade generated by NAFTA, according to a comprehensive economic study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber.
  • The expansion of trade unleashed by NAFTA supports tens of thousands of jobs in each of the 50 states—and more than 100,000 jobs in each of 17 states.
  • NAFTA has been a boon to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, which added more than 800,000 jobs in the four years after NAFTA entered into force. Canadians and Mexicans purchased $428 billion of U.S. manufactured goods in 2011, generating $36,000 in export revenue for every American factory worker.
  • NAFTA has been a bonanza for U.S. farmers and ranchers, helping U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico triple and quintuple, respectively. One in every 10 acres on American farms is planted to feed hungry Canadians and Mexicans.
  • With new market access and clearer rules afforded by NAFTA, U.S. services exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled, rising from $27 billion in 1993 to $82 billion in 2011.
  • Canada and Mexico are the top two export destinations for U.S. small and medium-size enterprises, more than 122,000 of which sold their goods and services in Canada and Mexico in 2010.

See the Small Business Success Stories Here  (PDF)