I urge you to read Dani Rodrik’s excellent analysis of the impact of NAFTA. Rather than trying to except it (I encourage you to read it in full), I’ll try to summarize it:
- The welfare gain to the U. S. of NAFTA was .08% (yes, eight hundreds of a percent, eight parts in 10,000)
- Much of the gains were not efficiency gains but a benefit to terms-of-trade improvement, i.e. income transfers from Canada or Mexico
- The localized harm in the United States was quite severe
My conclusions from that are that justice demands that, when enacting these multi-lateral “free trade” agreements, much, much more attention be paid to keeping those injured by the deal whole and that doing that will not pay for itself.