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The North American Free Trade Agreement: Its Impact on Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Kehoe, Timothy J. and Kim J. Ruhl

January 1, 2004, marked the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which expanded the free trade area formed by the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1989 to include Mexico. With NAFTA now 10 years old and more free trade agreements on the horizon, it makes sense to ask the questions, 'What has been the impact of NAFTA on the U.S. economy?' and 'How has Minnesota fared under NAFTA compared with the rest of the United States?' This article examines the overall impact of NAFTA on the U.S. economy and the economy of Minnesota, focusing on the pattern of exports and production. It also compares data on the performance of Minnesota exports with corresponding data for Wisconsin, which has expanded its exports to Mexico far more than Minnesota. The authors consider why Wisconsin has had greater success in expanding exports to Mexico. They hypothesize that the difference may have stemmed from more aggressive export promotion policies on the part of the Wisconsin state government, but conclude that more research is needed on the relationship between state export-promotion policies and the growth of state exports.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
This study evolved out of research originally supported by a grant from CURA's Faculty Interactive Research Program in 1992.
34 (4): 1-10.
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 34 (4)