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Is NAFTA economic integration?

Author

Listed:
  • William C. Gruben
  • John H. Welch

Abstract

Most economists agree that trade liberalization raises incomes and living standards. To achieve trade liberalization, though, countries must sometimes first reach trade agreements. And trade agreements, as William Gruben and John Welch observe, may intertwine elements of both liberalization and protectionism. As an example, Gruben and Welch examine the negotiation process that preceded passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. ; Is NAFTA economic integration? Although some authors think so, Gruben and Welch believe that interpreting NAFTA purely as economic integration is misleading. A more useful way to interpret NAFTA, they claim, is to start by recognizing it as the latest synthesis of an ongoing conflict between those who support trade liberalization and those who want trade protectionism. NAFTA offers broad-based trade openings, but it still contains restrictively protectionist components. In considering the efforts of trade liberalization advocates and trade protectionists, the authors also attempt to show how members of these pressure groups form alliances, disguise their efforts, and otherwise attempt to achieve their goals.

Suggested Citation

  • William C. Gruben & John H. Welch, 1994. "Is NAFTA economic integration?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 35-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1994:i:qii:p:35-51
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1994/er9402c.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Backus, David K. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1992. "In search of scale effects in trade and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 377-409, December.
    2. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 12, pages 393-424 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Cletus C. Coughlin & David C. Wheelock, 1995. "Lessons from the United States and European Community for the integration of high and low income economies," Working Papers 1995-007, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    North American Free Trade Agreement;

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