Whoa holy shit it's almost as if globalization has been bad for people with roots in their community or something. Good thing NAFTA was a great thing, everybody!
The relative size of the U.S. economy versus Mexico’s—about 25 to 1—will always limit the effects of NAFTA to very small orders of magnitude. Imports from Mexico as a share of total annual U.S. imports, for example, have averaged about 6 percent. Investment in Mexico is a tiny percentage of overall U.S. investment. For example, in 1994, direct U.S. investment in Mexico was $3 billion, or about 0.3 percent of U.S. gross private domestic investment of more than $1 trillion.
Hey what does it look like now?
Mexico has become the US' second-largest export market and third-largest source of imports. In 2017, two-way trade in goods and services exceeded $623 billion. Mexico has free trade agreements with 46 countries, putting more than 90% of its trade under free trade agreements. In 2012, Mexico formed the Pacific Alliance with Peru, Colombia, and Chile.
Here's where Brookings always leaves me raw: they claim to be nonpartisan but whenever the problem is neoliberal, the problem is anything but neoliberal. You don't need to stop in 2008, you can see this shit going back to 1992. If only Bill Moyers had done a 20-year longitudinal documentary about job loss!
The argument, in 1992, was that globalization would destroy jobs in the American heartland. The results, in 2020, have been that globalization destroyed jobs in the American heartland. We can fret over this all we want but fundamentally, if you're going to give rural areas disproportionate political clout and then fuck their lives royally they're going to vote Trump. The biggest problem - mea culpa - is that society has made it increasingly easy to pretend the middle isn't even there anymore.