Policy Impacts

NAFTA Analysis (July 2017)

One of the more interesting and as of yet unquantified questions pertains to the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the overall growth of US Agriculture and whether it was relatively better or worse than major trading partners Canada and Mexico.

More information on NAFTA analysis

  • Trade did occur between these North American countries prior to the establishment of NAFTA in 1994, so there exists the potential to examine the controlled effects of NAFTA implementation.
  • There have been several previous attempts to measure the impact of NAFTA on U.S. Agriculture, including the comprehensive ERS study in 2015 ( Zahniser, et.al.). In each of these analyses, NAFTA is evaluated from the standpoint of overall levels of trade (imports and exports), potential ancillary trade effects, and overall market integration.

The actual process of NAFTA implementation involved a 14-year period in which barriers to intraregional trade were gradually removed, including all agricultural products traded between Mexico and the United States and nearly all agricultural products traded between Canada and the United States and between Canada and Mexico.

The dynamic presentation of this analysis can be found here:

Importance of NAFTA to Agricultural Sector Growth