Critics of NAFTA often focus on the U.S. trade balance with Mexico. While the United States enjoys a slight advantage in services trade by exporting $30.8 billion in 2015 while importing $21.6 billion, the trade balance with the country is generally negative, due to a yawning deficit of $58.8 billion in merchandise trade in 2016. In 1993, the deficit was $36.1 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in 1993. In addition, international rights agreements have been concluded for commercial investors. This has reduced trade costs. It stimulates investment and growth, especially for small businesses. Not so long ago, it did not seem that globalization would be a major theme of the presidential campaign. But now Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, right and left, have won supporters of their attacks on free trade agreements, which they say have cost working-class Americans good paid jobs. Proponents of agreements such as Nafta promised that they would lead to broader economic development that would more than offset American jobs relocated abroad. But do these pacts help or harm average Americans? At best, the new U.S.
retail trading strategy has met with uneven success. The “Skinny” bilateral agreement with Japan, signed by the United States in October, falls short of TPP export access for certain goods, such as dairy and automotive exports to the United States, and leaves out other goods such as aircraft. This is happening, as China and 13 other countries will soon benefit from preferential access to the Japanese market under the RCEP. The weakness of the agreement may also violate WTO rules on preferential trade agreements. And while the threat of tariffs on cars may have led Japan to participate in these bilateral negotiations, this strategy has not been effective with the EU, where talks on promoting the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact with the United States have virtually failed this year. Saying that trade deals are good for America doesn`t mean they benefit all Americans. Some companies may take advantage of these new opportunities, others are suffering from increased competition. Yes, trade agreements may supplant some workers from their current jobs, but they also create many new jobs in sectors where America has a competitive advantage, such as business services and high-tech industries. Compared to the creation and relocation of U.S.
jobs to the United States, which are largely affected by technological advances and changing consumer demand, the impact of trade agreements is extremely small, but positive, as trade pacts ultimately create better and higher-paying jobs than displaced people.