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Mexico and the USA - A recent history framed by the North American Free Trade Agreement : the borderless economy in a "Neo-Monroeist" order ?

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  1. The concrete objective of the agreement and how much of the effects can be attributed to NAFTA
  2. The impact of NAFTA regarding macroeconomic effects
  3. The development gap between the United States and Mexico
  4. The Case of Corn: the past evolution of the Mexican economy and of agriculture precisely since trade liberalization
  5. The myth of NAFTA

In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) represented a turning point in the relationship between Mexico and the USA and was considered likely to resolve key bilateral issues. NAFTA was thus a sort of promising frame to achieve the benefits of interdependence in a globalizing world. Nowadays, North America is the largest free trade area in the world in gross product and territory, and no three nations in the world trade as much with each other as do the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The theoretical justification of regional agreements underlines several elements: peace in the area, cooperation between countries, bargaining power, the "dépassement" of the WTO and before the GATT (uncertainty of discussions and of economic sectors at stake), and the promotion of internal reforms. When analyzing the situation in order to assess the effects of the agreement, the problem is, to make the distinction between what would normally take place without NAFTA and the weight of other factors that influence the observed trends, and those that are directly induced by the agreement. In the case of regional agreements, many economists and analysts use what it is called an anti world perspective, thus assessing the trends and evolutions in a scenario without the agreement. In the present paper, we will only try to qualify the observations by highlighting different studies on the actual effects of NAFTA.

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