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NAFTA and the geography of North American trade

  • Howard J. Wall

Debates over the desirability of a preferential trading area frequently begin with the supposition that it will have two effects on the volume of trade: It will increase trade between members of the trading area and decrease trade between members and nonmembers. This paper demonstrates, however, that at the regional level the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might have been much more complicated than what is normally supposed. Specifically, according to gravity model estimates, NAFTA has meant (i) less trade between Eastern Canada and the United States and Mexico, (ii) more trade between Central Canada and the United States and Mexico, and (iii) more trade between Western Canada and Mexico but no change in the volume of trade between Western Canada and the United States. The model also indicates that NAFTA has decreased trade between Canadian regions and both Europe and Asia, while increasing Mexico’s trade with Asia.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Mar ()
Pages: 13-26

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2003:i:mar:p:13-26:n:v.85no.2
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  2. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1995. "Is Regionalism Simply a Diversion? Evidence From the Evolution of the EC and EFTA," NBER Working Papers 5283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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