Free Trade Association

Introduction

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) refers to a trade agreement signed between Canada, Mexico and the United States of America; leading to the creation of a trilateral trading block in North American region. The trade agreement came into existence on 1st January 1994, replacing the then Canada- US Free Trade Agreement that was between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA is complemented by two other agreements; the North American Agreement on Environmental cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).

Benefits of the inclusion of other nations in NAFTA

The extension to include other countries in the NAFTA agreement will be fruitful despite all the criticism and controversies. A free trade policy is a vital ingredient in promoting international trade at the global level (Love, 1999). This implies that adopting the free trade association is an opportunity not only to the United States but also other proposed countries in the NAFTA agreement to enhance their economy and foster diplomatic relations in the region. The inclusion of the free trade association will result in foreign investments and exchange of resources between the participating countries under the NAFTA agreement. Foreign investments and exchange of resources implies increased trade opportunities for the participating countries and enhance regional integration in terms of economy and foreign diplomatic relations among the involved countries (Weitraub, 1994).

Apart from the economic benefits associated with the free trade association, the adoption of the free trade association to include Central American countries and Columbia will facilitate the improvement of the American industries in terms of efficiency and competitiveness. Free trade means that access to the market is open to a wide variety of sellers and buyers, in order to match up the completive nature of the free market, American industries will have to ensure quality services and products; this in turn will help to improve the competitiveness of American industries which healthy for the economic growth of the US and facilitate in the improvement of peoples living standards (Weitraub, 1994).

The inclusion of other nations in the NAFTA agreement will promote the access of cheaper imports by the United States. The US is a consuming nation, implying that that it can not sustain itself without having access to imports. The inclusion of other nations means that the US will have access to wider market to outsource its consumables and other cheap imports which may in turn serve as raw materials for the United States of America. Free trade association means a wider market opportunity for the United States not only to import but also to export its produce to the participating countries. This would facilitate the expansion and competitiveness of the United States exports industry especially in terms of US farm exports (Love, 1999).

Conclusion

The inclusion of other nations in the NAFTA agreement will seem beneficial not only to the United States, but also the included participating countries. The key benefit directed towards the inclusion of other nations will be an economic boost to the participating countries. Apart from the economic boosts, free trade association will foster an increased regional economic integration resulting an almost complete trading block; this means there will be increased mutual diplomatic relations among the participating countries (Love, 1999). Therefore, other countries should be included in the NAFTA trade agreement.

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