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20 Years Later: NAFTA’s Impact on San Diego-Mexico Trade


Gordon Hanson, Professor of Economics, UC San Diego, Director, Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies

Peter Cowhey, Dean, UC San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies


The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA has reached it's 20th anniversary and critics are split on whether its lived up to its promise. NAFTA removed most of the tariffs on products traded between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

By increasing trade, proponents believed NAFTA would expand markets for U.S. goods, improve Mexico's economy and make North America more competitive in the global marketplace. Its side effects included manufacturing job losses in the U.S. and additional challenges for Mexican farmers.

As talk of a Trans-Pacific Free Trade agreement picks up steam, we take a look at progresses made with NAFTA, what still needs to be addressed and future goals.

A symposium at UC San Diego Thursday looks at Mexico's progress and future goals 20 years after the signing of NAFTA. It's hosted by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. The symposium is closed to registration but can be viewed online.

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