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The long and short of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement

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  • Trefler, Daniel

Abstract

The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides a unique window onto the effects of a reciprocal trade agreement on an industrialized economy (Canada). For industries that experienced the deepest Canadian tariff cuts, employment fell by 12 percent and labour productivity rose by 15 percent as low-productivity plants contracted. For industries that received the largest U.S. tariff cuts, there were no employment gains, but plant-level labour productivity soared by 14 percent. These results highlight the conflict between those who bore the short-run adjustment costs (displaced workers and struggling plants) and those who are garnering the long-run gains (consumers and efficient plants). Finally, a simple welfare analysis provides evidence of aggregate welfare gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Trefler, Daniel, 2006. "The long and short of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6721, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6721
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    JEL classification:

    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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