In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s many Latin American countries adopted neoliberal economic policies. Many countries faced negative economic and social results due to the policy shift and reverted to more domestic oriented markets. With that said, in recent years many Latin American countries, such as Brazil, have pushed back into neoliberalist policies. This comes as especially odd considering many global economic powers such as the US, UK, and China are shifting to domestic focused and protectionist policies.
Economy and Development
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1st, 1994. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate barriers to help promote positive trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To accomplish this, tariffs were eradicated over time and almost “all duties and quantitative restrictions…were eliminated by 2008,” (“North American Free Trade Agreement”).
In December of 2017, Donald Trump signed the new GOP tax bill rearranging and recreating the way our country collects its dues. This bill affects every state in the Union, but it also affects one curious case in the Northeast Caribbean – Puerto Rico. The bill includes a new 12.5 percent tax on profits derived from intellectual property held by foreign companies. For Puerto Rico, this means it is treated differently from every other state. The new policy is designed to back the “America First” trademark of the Trump administration by bringing home American companies.
In the world of trade policy, not much if anything is ever clear one way or the other. This is certainly true for the relationship that the American auto industry has had with NAFTA ever since its ratification. While many blue collar workers and others point to free trade agreements as the reason why their careers are no longer a given, the auto industry sings a much different song. A song that preaches of the good that globalization has done and that if it were not for NAFTA many more of those all so important American jobs would have been lost then already were.