NAFTA - 20 Years Later

This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the historic NAFTA free trade agreement, which opened up trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada. This ongoing series will look at the winners and losers in the agreement and how it has impacted the Southwest and the nation.

The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed by the leaders of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada 20 years ago, strengthening our business ties, disrupting labor and changing the nature of our supermarkets.
In the early 1990s, President Bill Clinton promised that the North American Free Trade Agreement would create such great jobs in Mexico that Mexicans wouldn’t need to illegally immigrate here. But in the two decades since, the number of people living here illegally has nearly quadrupled.
This brewing tomato trade war shows how much the agricultural trade has changed since NAFTA began.
Since its inception in 1994, NADBANK has invested $1.2 billion in 155 projects on both sides of the border.
The World Trade Bridge is a testament to the post-NAFTA boom. The number of trucks crossing through Laredo has tripled since NAFTA. But traffic has already outgrown capacity.
Manufacturing in North America after NAFTA relies on supply chains that span borders. That’s why one small aerospace manufacturer in Arizona is now trying to expand into Mexico to stay competitive.
The historic signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement was celebrated Monday in San Antonio.
NAFTA opened the border to rapid industrialization, but implemented only limited provisions for dealing with the environmental fallout.
El Paso faced an identity crisis after NAFTA threatened the garment industry. Businesses changed course, and now the border town is booming.
Some states, lagging behind in the export business, see golden opportunity in Mexico's ports.