C. Fred Bergsten (PIIE), Monica de Bolle (PIIE), editors
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ranks at the top of anyone’s list of the most controversial trade deals of all time. Reviled by critics as unfair and as a job destroyer, praised by its defenders as having a documented record of success in spurring economic growth, NAFTA reduced tariff barriers to zero for the United States, Mexico, and Canada and led to a tripling of trade among these three countries over the last 23 years. The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) has abundantly detailed the many gains and acknowledged costs of NAFTA in numerous publications. Now that President Donald Trump has launched a renegotiation of NAFTA—having at least for the moment abandoned his 2016 campaign pledge to cancel the pact outright—the fundamental question is: Can such a renegotiation produce a positive result?