Report | Trade and Globalization

The Effect of George Bush’s NAFTA on American Workers

Briefing Paper #33

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A decision to support or not to support the Bush-Salinas-Mulroney version of a
North American Free Trade Agreement has little to do with the abstract arguments about
“free trade” and “protection.” It has everything to do with the living standards of the people
of the United States. If members of Congress are certain that the agreement produced by
the current trilateral negotiations will raise incomes and expand job opportunities in the
United States, they should accept it. If they are not, if there is any serious doubt, they
should reject it. America’ working families are already suffering enough loss of income
and job opportunity because of past policies based on unexamined economic theories that
seemed persuasive at the time. Given that experience, putting their economic future further
at risk – without a high degree of confidence that the outcomes will be favorable – would
represent a betrayal of the public trust.

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