Internation Journual of Public Administration Vol 19 Number 9

Public Administration Implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement

Thomas D. Lynch
Jered B. Carr
Florida Atlantic University
College of Urban and Public Affairs
University Tower, 220 S.E. 2nd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301-0091


The emerging North America trade bloc presents both challenges and opportunities for Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Free trade among disparate partners is a complex undertaking. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will bring important benefits to all three countries, but it will also raise many important issues. The sharp differences in wage rates, worker productivity, and education levels among the partners has fueled fears of job losses on both sides of the border.
Disparity among NAFTA nations on labor practices, health and occupational safety laws and regulations are also sources of conflict. Effective dispute resolution mechanisms must exist for both trade and non-trade issues. Practical guidance, in this regard, can come from the experience of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the European Economic
community (EEC; European Union since 1993). New political and administration mechanisms will be required to deal with each of these challenging issues.

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