Conclusion—NAFTA’s Impacts: Can the USMCA Do Better?

Type de publication:

Book Chapter


NAFTA 2.0 From the first NAFTA to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Palgrave MacMillan, p.261-276 (2022)



The coming into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 has made North America a significant and influential experiment in regional integration, aimed at competitiveness gains and continent-wide production and investment. The concluding chapter takes stock of NAFTA’s economic and social impacts on its three states parties, with a focus on employment. Such impacts are crucial to understand the dissatisfaction that led to its renegotiation. It is considered whether its successor, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), is likely to address these concerns and produce a stable and prosperous North American space. Rather than a new model, the USMCA constitutes an update and a slight rebalancing of the existing North American integration model, although much less significant and influential than at NAFTA’s advent. North American economic integration will remain a contested work in progress.

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