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Whither NAFTA?


The North American Free Trade Agreement turned 20 this January 1

Signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush, the pact first came into effect on January 1, 1994.

Much discussion around the deal and “next steps” centers around whether the agreement has failed to live up to its promises.

Canada, the US and Mexico will meet late February to discuss the agreement, which ultimately comes down to jobs-keeping them, creating them, innovating them.

While it probably depends on your perspective, despite its internal drug conflicts, Mexico has a young and well-educated workforce and its econoy has certainly benefitted from NAFTA.

Where the pact needs some help, and help that would benefit all three countries involved, is at the borders.

There is no question that goods, people and information still do not move as freely as they could at the border crossings between the US and Canada and between the US and Mexico.

Comparatively few Mexican trucking companies have signed up for aUS pilot program (up for renewal this year) that would allow Mexican trucks to cross the border and deliver goods to their final destination.

Canadians are still on a quest to harmonize their border with that of the US-but infrastructure development lags.

Canadian Shipper’s March/April issue aims to look further into these issues-what are the sore points, and the successes, of crossborder trade, 20 years after the NAFTA pact was signed?

 


Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich is Editor of Canadian Shipper. She has been writing about transportation and logistics issues since 1999.
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