Many workers and union leaders blame trade deals like NAFTA for the decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States. The U.S. auto sector has lost about 350,000 jobs — a third of the industry — since 1994, while employment in Mexico`s auto sector has grown from 120,000 to 550,000 workers. Analysts agree that NAFTA has opened up new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. Mexican consumers spend more on U.S. products each year than their counterparts in Japan and Europe, so the stakes are high for business owners. (Most STUDIES ON NAFTA focus on the impact of U.S. business with Mexico. Trade with Canada has also been improved, but the passage of the trade agreement has not had as much impact on the already liberal trade practices to which America and its northern neighbour have adhered.) Other sub-agreements have been adopted to address concerns about the potential impact of the Treaty on the labour market and the environment. Critics feared that low wages in Mexico would attract the United States. and Canadian businesses, which led to a relocation of production to Mexico and a rapid decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States and Canada. Environmentalists, meanwhile, have worried about the potentially catastrophic effects of rapid industrialization in Mexico, as that country has no experience in implementing and enforcing environmental regulations. Possible environmental issues were addressed in the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994.
Supporters campaigned for NAFTA because it opened Up Mexican markets to U.S. companies like never before. The Mexican market is growing rapidly, which promises more export opportunities, which means more jobs. Proponents, however, have struggled to convince the American public that NAFTA would do more good than harm. Their main efforts focused on the belief that all consumers would benefit from the widest possible choice of products at the lowest possible price, which means that consumers would be the greatest beneficiaries of lowering barriers to trade. .