Monetary Cooperation in the North American Economy
The economic integration of North America, unlike that of Europe, has no parallels on the political front, and U.S. economic and political interests are world-wide, while those of Canada and Mexico are predominantly regional. These facts have important implications for the degree of policy integration, not least in monetary matters, that is feasible within NAFTA. Each member has an interest in the monetary stability of the others, but a common currency -- even a pegged exchange rate system -- is not desirable without a significantly greater degree of labour market integration than currently exists, and without a willingness on the part of the U.S. authorities to subordinate national to regional interests in their policy making. Absent these preconditions, monetary stability within NAFTA is best achieved by each country pursuing its own domestic stability, while maintaining the current high degree of formal and informal communications about economic conditions and policy intentions implicit in current arrangements.
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