NAFTA Is 20 Years Old – Here Are 20 Facts That Show How It Is Destroying The Economy

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Back in the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement was one of the hottest political issues in the country.  When he was running for president in 1992, Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans that it would reduce illegal immigration.  Ross Perot warned that just the opposite would happen.  He warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a "giant sucking sound" as thousands of businesses and millions of jobs left this country.  Most Americans chose to believe Bill Clinton.  Well, it is 20 years later and it turns out that Perot was right and Clinton was dead wrong.  But now history is repeating itself, and most Americans don't even realize that it is happening.  As you will read about at the end of this article, Barack Obama has been negotiating a secret trade treaty that is being called "NAFTA on steroids", and if Congress adopts it we could lose millions more good paying jobs.

It amazes me how the American people can fall for the same lies over and over again.  The lies that serial liar Barack Obama is telling about "free trade" and the globalization of the economy are the same lies that Bill Clinton was telling back in the early 1990s.  The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Paul Craig Roberts...

I remember in the 90′s when former Presidential candidate Ross Perot emphatically stated that NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) would create a giant “sucking sound” of jobs being extracted away from the U.S.  He did not win the election, and NAFTA was instituted on Jan. 1, 1994. Now, 20 years later, we see the result of all the jobs that have been “sucked away” to other countries.


According to an article by the Economic Policy Institute on 1/3/14:


“Clinton and his collaborators promised that the deal would bring “good-paying American jobs,” a rising trade surplus with Mexico, and a dramatic reduction in illegal immigration. Considering that thousands of kids are pouring over the border as we speak, well, how’d that work out for us?

Many Americans like to remember Bill Clinton as a "great president" for some reason.  Well, it turns out that he was completely and totally wrong about NAFTA.  The following are 20 facts that show how NAFTA is destroying the economy...

#1 More than 845,000 American workers have been officially certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance because they lost their jobs due to imports from Mexico or Canada or because their factories were relocated to those nations.

#2 Overall, it is estimated that NAFTA has cost us well over a million jobs.

#3 U.S. manufacturers pay Mexican workers just a little over a dollar an hour to do jobs that American workers used to do.

#4 The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has more than doubled since the implementation of NAFTA.

#5 In the year before NAFTA, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Mexico and the trade deficit with Canada was only 29.6 billion dollars.  Last year, the U.S. had a combined trade deficit with Mexico and Canada of 177 billion dollars.

#6 It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas.

#7 One professor has estimated that cutting the total U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

#8 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.  In fact, many of them are now being built in Mexico.

#9 NAFTA hasn't worked out very well for Mexico either.  Since 1994, the average yearly rate of economic growth in Mexico has been less than one percent.

#10 The exporting of massive amounts of government-subsidized U.S. corn down into Mexico has destroyed more than a million Mexican jobs and has helped fuel the continual rise in the number of illegal immigrants coming north.

#11 Someone making minimum wage in Mexico today can buy 38 percent fewer consumer goods than the day before NAFTA went into effect.

#12 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#13 Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#14 We have fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than we did in 1950 even though our population has more than doubled since then.

#15 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, only 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#16 As I wrote about recently, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

#17 Because we have shipped millions of jobs overseas, the competition for the jobs that remain has become extremely intense and this has put downward pressure on wages.  Right now, half the country makes $27,520 a year or less from their jobs.

#18 When adults cannot get decent jobs, it is often children that suffer the most.  It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.

#19 In 1994, only 27 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.

#20 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

For much more on this, please watch the video by Charlie LeDuff posted below.  It is well worth a few minutes of your time..

So if NAFTA is so bad for American workers, then why don't our politicians just repeal it?

Well, unfortunately most of them are not willing to do this because it is part of a larger agenda.  For decades, politicians from both major political parties have been working to slowly integrate North America.  The eventual goal is to turn North America into another version of the European Union.

Just check out what former general and CIA chief David Petraeus had to say about this...

After America comes North America,” Petraeus said confidently in answering the question about what comes after the United States, the theme of the panel discussion. “Are we on the threshold of the North American decade, question mark? I threw that away — threw away the question mark — and boldly proclaimed the coming North American decade, says the title now.” He also boasted about how the three economies have been put “together” over the last 20 years as part of the “implementation” of the North American Free Trade Act.


The “highly integrated” forces of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Petraeus continued, will become the world’s powerhouse for energy and science. “There are four revolutions that are ongoing at various levels in each of the countries but foremost in the United States,” said the former CIA chief, who now serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute. “The energy revolution is the first of those, which has created the biggest change in geopolitics since the rise of China since 1978.” The other “revolutions” include IT, manufacturing, and life sciences, which, “as highly integrated as they are, allow you to argue that after America comes North America,” he added.

When you hear our politicians talk about "free trade", what they are really talking about is integrating us even further into the emerging one world economic system.  And over the past couple of years, Barack Obama has been negotiating a secret treaty which would send the deindustrialization of America into overdrive.  The formal name of this secret agreement is "the Trans-Pacific Partnership", and it would ultimately result in millions more good jobs being sent to the other side of the planet where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  The following is a description of this insidious treaty from one of my previous articles...

Did you know that the Obama administration is negotiating a super secret "trade agreement" that is so sensitive that he isn't even allowing members of Congress to see it?  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the "NAFTA of the Pacific" and "NAFTA on steroids", but the truth is that it is so much more than just a trade agreement.  This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade.  Most Americans don't realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  It will also merge the United States far more deeply into the emerging one world economic system.  Initially, twelve nations will be a party to this treaty including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  Together, those nations represent approximately 40 percent of global GDP.  It is hoped that additional nations such as the Philippines, Thailand and Colombia will join the treaty later on.

Unfortunately, most Americans are as uneducated about these issues as they were back in 1994.

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Yen Cross's picture

  Where's Slick Willy for an explanation?  Hey Billy CliNTON , you own this one...

LetThemEatRand's picture

G.H.W. Bush signed his apology, along with signing NAFTA.  Don't fall for the Red Team/Blue Team BS.

James_Cole's picture

G.H.W. Bush signed his apology, along with signing NAFTA.  Don't fall for the Red Team/Blue Team BS.

This one can definitely be laid at clintons feet. Reagan / bush sr had the ball rolling by royally fucking over labour, but nafta was clinton sending it into high gear. 

Any doubts, see his mouthpiece on this issue:

Stackers's picture

We were warned

Look at the smirks on Bush's and Clinton's face


repeatedly warned

philipat's picture

So that "Giant sucking sound" was correct then?

I MISS KUDLOW's picture

This guy named Sir James Goldsmith said GATT wouldn't help!!!!!!


LOL we are screwed

monad's picture

Hitler is credited as creating GATT. As a stooge, he probably didn't. Just as Al Gore didn't invent divorce. 

philipat's picture

NAFTA was just Fascism 1.01. Wait untill we have TPP (Which, of course, excludes China) and the EU version thereof. Why are these countries so fucking stupid that they can't see they are surrendering their sovereignty to US Corporations in agreeing to these deals. Or if they do understand are prepared to BOHICA to the US?

Doesn't it sound suspicious in the US that these deals have been developed secretly by the WH without even allowing Congress to review the drafts. Congress, incidentally, is responsible for approving Trade deals and there is no "Fast Track" rule in place as of now. Yes, I know, typical Obozo with his pen and phone. But yet another example of Fascism in action and further evidence of a system which is so totally corrupt and broken as to be FUBAR.

monad's picture

Give it time. And a hand, when you can. The element of society that whacks child molesters & royals is alive and well.

Don't move til you see it. 

Fuck you Holder. I'd be proud of you if you done 1/4 what I have. Watch and learn. Boy.

BruntFCA's picture

Sigh, when will Americans ever get it, talk about stupid to paraphrase you.

These "leaders" do not represent the people or countires, they are greedy psycopaths that represent themeselves and special interests.

By "selling out" their people they become instantly rich join the international plutoracy; the only real "country" they belong to. Just look at Papandreou in Greece, after ruining his country's economy he's become fabulously wealthy and has been granted an economics lectuing post at Harvard and then Columbia (no you can't make this stuff up).

He's just the tip of the ice-berg, the same sell out mechanism has been at work in most of Africa and South America. There is no one you can vote into office that will fix this - the system is borked and must be changed.

Leraconteur's picture

Except the jobs just spent a year or two in Mexico and moved to China soon after.

Ranting Troglodyte's picture

It does make me feel better about voting for him....twice.

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

Yeah, Ross Perot was correct, although he just singled-out Maxico but it was much much much much more.

Then again maybe the "giant sucking sound" was just Monica & Bill.

Larry Dallas's picture

Ahem. What about Rubin? Don't forget that fucker...

Vendetta's picture

Oh yeah.  So many treasonous bastards ... not one iota of justice to be found anywhere

Kayman's picture

What a stupid fucking article.  It is Clinton's support of getting China into the WTO that killed jobs in America. In turn, Clinton got lots of China "donations" . Look up the Clinton foundation. And Hillary was a director of Walmart- guess which country makes most of the shit sold at Chinese Wallmart...

There never was a thing called "free trade". It always was and always will be a sales gimmick.

If there were no pollution laws, no labor laws, free intellectual property (steal it, like China) any country could compete with China.  The American people were suckered in by this Trojan Horse and American politicians rolled it thru the gate. 


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

#0: As every Canadian knows, but only 0.01% of Americans know, "NAFTA" was originally an Free Trade Agreements between the US and Canada.

Of course back then "North America" meant US+Canada.  NAFTA worked fine -- until old man Bush (George H W Bush) came along, and expanded it to include Mexico.  It was at that point that the great sucking sound of job transfers from the US to Mexico started.  Ditto for job transfers to Asia.  Thanks, George!

Mesquite's picture

It was Clinton's condition for being pushed forward for President by The Bilderberg Group....

Yen Cross's picture

 History is written in paperback/ Easily burnable RAND!

   Just like "TIP O'Neill" fucked Reagan on the origional imigration for funding bill.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Ya this was a bipartisan"achievement". Didn't this have the support of good ole 'contract with America' newt Gingrich as well? Trying to blame this on Clinton is stupid. Both parties have been fucking us over, any differences between them are superficial

Yen Cross's picture

 Bill Clinton owns NAFTA, like your father owns your Mothers blow hole! 

 Don't get me started Bitchz.

Reaper's picture

Cankles promises to continue Clinton's legacy.

Yen Cross's picture

Some of us, have been around the block/

TeethVillage88s's picture

Yen Cross;

Did you know that Naphta is one of the Sumerian Names for Oil or Bitumen?

Catalytic reforming is a chemical process used to convert petroleum refinery naphthas distilled from crude oil (typically having low octane ratings) into high-octane liquid products called reformates, which are premium blending stocks for high-octane gasoline. (online dictionaries only reach back to Egyptian or Arabic sources not Sumerian)
Other works by RJ Forbes

toady's picture

I remember the 'Contract on America'.

Good times!

Vendetta's picture

oh yeah.... I forgot about Newt's "Contract ON America".... 

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of  a day.  But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery." - Thomas Jefferson


Stuck on Zero's picture

Our good buddy Al Gore was the master proponent of NAFTA and debated Ross Perot through a pile of mockery and gimmickry. 

AmCockerSpaniel's picture

For two decades I've been beating my drum to stop Free Trade, and few would back me.

I'm old now and being right is on this is NOT what I wanted.

Vendetta's picture

Same here.  In the 20 years since the first betrayal of the entire nation with these aggregious 'agreements', I have never heard a sound argument FOR the so-called free trade agreements.  Always sound bites based on falsehoods or ad hominen attacks, nothing else:  "rising boats in developing nations will INCREASE our exports", "as the middle classes rise in these developing nations, they will buy more from the US", "You're a fucking Protectionist aren't ya?" (as if that is so bad, china does it),"Smoot-Hawley didn't work dude" (reality: whatever happened in 1937 tells us nothing about today), .... endless sound bites and ad hominen attacks against anybody who opposes these things.  Opposition to these agreements do not exist in the political system that I can detect anywhere... all who opposed have been driven out.

AmCockerSpaniel's picture

It was GREED that made Free Trade an easy sell. People wanted and thought they could have their cake, and eat it too.

They would have their good jobs and benefits, and someone else would pay for low prices at the Wall-Mart by having

their job out sourced. I told them the only thing Free in Free Trade was for big corporations to be free to use the cheep labor

of off shore countries. I was called an ass hole for this. My wife said I should just let it go. I love my country, and the people

who live and work in it. I just could not stand by and wait for the train wreck. I'm up in the 70's now, and it's my grand kids I

worry about.

doctor10's picture

NAFTA is the symptom-don't get distracted

123dobryden's picture

maybe free trade doesnt work for warfre-wellfare state


how is it possible that e.g. Germany didnt loose any jobs, but contrary they gain, yet that are members of sclerotic EU? there was no transfer of manufacturing jobs from germany

Vendetta's picture

VAT taxes are common throughout the nations in the EU  ... its another word for tariffs... only dumb or utterly corrupt countries don't have them to protect domestic industry... US leads the world in the areas of corruption and stupidity regarding trade

junction's picture

By the way, where is Ross Perot these days?

DaveyJones's picture

no one knows, he's on the no fly list

Pool Shark's picture



Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos...


chunga's picture

NAFTA was bipartisan...right Newt?

Both retard "parties" sold us down the river. It will never get repealed both parties are still there.

Fuck them.

kchrisc's picture

NAFTA was the Obamacare of its day.

A CIA controlled and ostensibly Democrat president pushing through what no none wanted. The resulting fallout produced a huge gain for the Republicans who then came up with a "Contract with America" ruse to distract everyone away from the fact that NAFTA was through and through the elite's baby.

An American, not US subject.


Note: Democrat and Republican are only used  as they pertain to the two-party delusion that the sheeple cling too.

WhyWait's picture

Who you calling Sheeple, whitey?  

When we vote, we vote for the ones we think are least likely to screw us, right?  Those of us that are too busy trying to survive to go looking for sites like ZH have to choose to believe the lies we want to hear over the ones we don't, or rather to chose which liar we want to believe, and then hope we can keep them honest. We are hungry for someone who can lead us in a fight and who won't betray us, and we look for and argue about signs and indicators that we can trust them. What else can we do?  

For this you call us sheeple?

Or if we stay home, you call us Apathetic, right?  As in stupid?  Try pushing someone to get out and vote, someone who doesn't want to.  You're likely to hear some real anger. More anger than you could have caused, coming from somewhere deep inside.  Heck, I know people whose families haven't voted for three generations, and they're proud of it!  Are they apathetic?

Now I'm not recommending boycotting elections.  Good men fought and died for such rights as we still have, including the right to elect our legislators, president and governors.  To my mind, just because our voices have been made ineffective by out-of-control legalized corruption, doesn't give us right to just give up on elections. I hold that we owe it to our ancesters, from America or from whatever part of the world they came from, to fight to take back the democratic rights their generations gifted to us - and that our generation lost.  And I hold that we owe it to our children too. So I participate in elections the best I can. But the election boycotters are absolutely right about the game being rigged, stacked against the little people.  It's a kind of lunacy to think we can rebuild our democracy by participating in it; lunacy that some of us choose to hold on to in spite of no evidence.  


q99x2's picture

When you understand how the bankers control the world you can understand their perspective. It is very wrong and communications are very different than they were. I think people have a chance when the SHTF to come out of it with a new way of moving forward.

Chris Martenson's audio from this week, "A history of US money" chapter 9 is really good as are all his presentations.

stant's picture

I am going back to rural ky. Mark twain said if the end of the world came he would move to ky because they are 20 yrs behind everyone else. That would make ky the last remaining super power by today's standards

DaveyJones's picture

"Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans that it would reduce illegal immigration"

he was close, he just had the two verbs reversed

Yen Cross's picture

 I did NOT have sexual relations with my toilet/

~ Billy Clinton~

Reptil's picture

It is very fortunate that the europeans AND US citizens can study the NAFTA and use it to make a descision on TAFTA (TTIP).
Or the people living in countries that are going to be part of the TPP.

I hope they do. Once signed no party can opt out of these deals. (the small print)

The ISDS clausule is an abomination (Arbitrage trumps Constitution).

It'll get worse than NAFTA, way worse.

kchrisc's picture

A show of hands of all those that know and understand Perot's role in getting NAFTA passed.

TeethVillage88s's picture

kchrisc; very interesting. Any candidate would sell his genitals for an hour to fool voters. Why not Ross Perot with his "giant sucking sound".

I am naive.