Clinton Trump Infographic-04

The Selling of NAFTA 2.0 Is a Lot Like That of the Original NAFTA

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Donald Trump’s grandiose claims that NAFTA 2.0 will generate a flood of new U.S. jobs and be a boon for U.S. farmers are eerily similar to claims President Bill Clinton  made in 1993 to sell NAFTA. After 25 years, nearly one million U.S. jobs are government certified as lost to NAFTA and 240,000 small farms have been destroyed as a U.S. agricultural trade surplus with Mexico and Canada became a deficit. NAFTA 2.0 remains a work-in-progress.

If certain improvements are made, a final package could stop some of NAFTA’s ongoing damage. But NAFTA 2.0 cannot possibly measure up to Trump’s sales pitch.

U.S. Jobs

1993

“I believe that NAFTA will create 200,000 American jobs in the first two years of its effect…I believe that NAFTA will create a million jobs in the first five years of its impact.”

President Bill Clinton, 1993

Actual Outcome

Nearly one million U.S. jobs are now government-certified as lost to NAFTA, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

2018

“These measures [in NAFTA] will support many hundreds of thousands of American jobs… This landmark agreement will send cash and jobs pouring into the United States and into North America.”

President Donald Trump, 2018

Auto Jobs

1993

“Mexico bought 750,000 new cars last year. The Big Three sold them only 1,000, because they have the same barriers against our cars. Those barriers will be eliminated by NAFTA. We’ll sell 60,000, not 1,000, in the first year after NAFTA. Every one of those cars has four new tires and one spare. We’ll create more jobs with NAFTA.

Vice President Al Gore, 1993

Actual Outcome

The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada in transportation equipment tripled since NAFTA. The United States has lost 125,000 auto sector jobs, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2018

“We’ve lost a quarter of a million jobs or more in the auto parts sector. You’re going to see the vast majority of those coming back.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, 2018

“Once approved, this will be a new dawn for the American auto industry and for the American autoworker. They will see. They understand.”

President Donald Trump, 2018

Trade Deficit

1993

“NAFTA will generate… an export boom to Mexico, by tearing down tariff walls.”

President Bill Clinton, 1993

Actual Outcome

A small U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada of $11 billion before NAFTA turned into a large deficit of $158 billion by 2017, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

2018

The trade deficit with Mexico and Canada will go down “by tens of billions of dollars…We will release the numbers and you’ll be astonished at how big they are.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, 2018

“Since NAFTA’s adoption, the United States racked up trade deficits totaling more than $2 trillion – and it’s a much higher number than that – with Canada and Mexico. … Companies aren’t going to be leaving and firing everybody and making products and sending it back into the United States.”

President Donald Trump, 2018

U.S. Agriculture

1993

NAFTA will be “good for American agriculture.”

Incoming Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, 1993

Actual Outcome

More than 240,000 U.S. small farms are out of business since NAFTA per the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $2.6 billion U.S. agriculture surplus with Mexico and Canada crashed to a $7.7 billion trade deficit in 2017. The United States now has a trade deficit in beef and cattle of $2.3 billion with Mexico and Canada. Such losses swamp the gains in U.S. export products like corn.

2018

“This is a very, very big deal for our farmers. Mexico and Canada will be opened up a lot more than they are now… The deal includes a substantial increase in our farmers’ opportunities to export American wheat, poultry, eggs, and dairy – including milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, to name a few.”

President Donald Trump, 2018