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How Integrated is the North America Economy?

| February 21, 2014

Trade among Canada, the U.S., and Mexico is now almost four times greater than it was before NAFTA. As the Wilson Center’s Christopher Wilson put it, “Simply put, trade among the North American partners is massive, and each economy in the region relies significantly on this trade to create jobs, fuel growth, and strengthen its competitiveness.” Below we map out that flow of trade.

NA-trade

 

  • Guest

    (1) What would be a tentative estimate of the value of the illicit commodity trade at the regional level? i.e. marijuana and cocaine from Mexico in Canada and the US, and possibly British Columbia marijuana into the US. Legalising this trade would presumably represent a tax windfall for the governments involved and generate significant formal business incomes in all three countries. Given that even Vicente Fox has started advocating this approach, it would be the right time for NAFTA to demonstrate its maturity and move beyond prohibition. See http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/02/world/la-fg-mexico-fox-pot-20130903 for a detailed discussion of M. Fox’s position;

    (2) A second question relates to the costs of border and related immigration control – what are the estimated economic costs of wait times at the US-Mexico and Canada-US borders? While NAFTA promised free movement of labour, the continent’s borders have hardened, costing us all time and money. Who, if anyone, within NAFTA is advocating for a more efficient and modern approach to labour mobility?

  • HS

    (1) What would be a tentative estimate of the value of the illicit commodity trade at the regional level? i.e. processed marijuana and cocaine from Mexico to Canada and the US, and Canadian marijuana, synthetic drugs and [trans-shipped] heroin into the US. These amounts are not indicated on the chart but are significant Legalising this trade would presumably represent a tax windfall for the governments involved and generate significant formal business incomes in all three countries. Given that The Economist magazine and even Vicente Fox advocate this approach, it would be the right time for NAFTA to demonstrate its maturity and move beyond prohibition. See http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/02/world/la-fg-mexico-fox-pot-20130903 for a detailed discussion of M. Fox’s position;

    (2) A second question relates to the costs of border and related immigration control – what are the estimated economic costs of wait times at the US-Mexico and Canada-US borders? While NAFTA promised free movement of labour, the continent’s borders have hardened, costing us all time and money. Who, if anyone, within NAFTA is advocating for a more efficient and modern approach to labour mobility?