A Million Lessons from NAFTA

July 25, 2005
   

Since NAFTA, rising trade deficit cost about 50,000 Ohio jobs, a million in U.S.;

New study ranks Ohio fifth in number, percent of jobs lost to rising trade deficit with Canada and Mexico

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect, the rising trade deficit with Canada and Mexico displaced production supporting over a million jobs in the United States and nearly 50,000 in Ohio. This and other information is revealed in A Million Lessons from NAFTA, by Robert Scott and David Ratner, just published by the Economic Policy Institute and released here by Policy Matters Ohio.

Ohio ranked fifth among all states in number of jobs and job opportunities lost due to the rising trade deficit with Canada and Mexico since passage of NAFTA, with 49,886 positions lost. States with the largest job such displacement from 1993 to 2004 were California (-123,995), Texas (-72,257), Michigan (-63,148), New York (-51,582), Ohio (-49,886), Illinois (-47,701), Pennsylvania (-44,173), Florida (-39,987), Indiana (-35,157), and North Carolina (-34,150).

Ohio also ranked fifth in percent of jobs lost, with nearly one percent of the state’s employment (.92 percent) lost. Other states on this list were Michigan (-1.44%), Indiana (-1.19%), Mississippi (-1.03%), Tennessee (-0.94%), Ohio (-0.92%), Rhode Island (-0.91%), Wisconsin (-0.90%), Arkansas (-0.89%), North Carolina (-0.89%), and New Hampshire (-0.87%).

Congress is preparing to vote this week on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Proponents of this expansion, which would erase tariffs between participating nations, claim the agreement will create new jobs in the U.S., Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. experienced a rapid acceleration in its trade deficit after NAFTA took effect in 1994. Despite helping the country gain one million new jobs, NAFTA was responsible for two million jobs being displaced from the U.S., according to the study. Since the beginning of the 2001 recession, 2.8 million U.S. manufacturing jobs and 161,500 Ohio manufacturing jobs have been lost. Growing trade deficits are responsible for 34 to 58 percent of this decline, with all 50 states and the District of Columbia being affected.

“Workers have good reason to be concerned about another NAFTA-type trade agreement,” said study author, Economic Policy Institute economist Robert Scott. “The failure of NAFTA to create jobs casts serious doubt on similar claims being made for CAFTA.”

Read The Full Report from The Economic Policy institute

The Economic Policy Institute is an independent research institute that studies the impact of economic policies on working people in the United States and around the world. 

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