Toward a North American Community: Lessons from the Old World for the New

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Institute for International Economics, 2001 - Business & Economics - 207 pages
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The Mexican peso crisis struck in late December 1994, coinciding with a new Mexican administration and the end of the first year of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The crisis poignantly highlighted the success and the inadequacy of the treaty--success in the expansion of trade and capital flows, and inadequacy in institutional capacity. The Canadian, Mexican, and US governments defined the agreement so narrowly that they failed to devise a mechanism that could monitor, anticipate, plan, or even respond to such a serious problem. The president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, has boldly proposed transforming the free trade area into a common market like Europe's.

In this visionary study, Robert A. Pastor seizes Fox's idea and maps out the paths toward making it a reality. He analyzes NAFTA's successes and shortcomings, extracts lessons from the European Union's 40 years of reducing disparities between rich and poor countries, and proposes ways that NAFTA can adapt and incorporate those lessons. The centerpiece of the book is a detailed proposal for new institutions and "North American plans" for infrastructure and transportation, immigration and customs, and projects aimed at lifting the poorer regions. This book is the first to propose a detailed approach to a North American Community--different from the European Common Market but drawing lessons from its experience. It will be of considerable interest to policymakers as well as researchers and students of international political economy, world trade, and foreign affairs.

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+Institute for International Economics
+New World Values Survey
NAFTA simply assumed that hte peoples of North america would benefit from the magic of a freww marketplace, and that the three governments would resolve old or new problems. but in the absence of a compelling vision to define a modern regional entitiy, and lacking institutions to translate that vision into poliices, the old patterns of behavior among the three governments remained.
+'toward a partnership for prosperity: the guanajuato proposal, joint communique," 16 feb 2001,
because nafta is bereft of insitutions, the three countires rarely see--let alone address--the connections between the problems or how implementing different policies may lead to their acting at cross-purposes.
+current GDP, per capita GDP, life expectancy at birth, % GNP spent on education, secondary school net enrollment ratio%,
+albert fishlow, sherman robinson, raul hinojosa-ojeda, "proposal for a north american regional development bank," paper prepared for a conference sponsored by the federal reserve bank of dallas (14 june 1991); donald j. puchala, "the european communities and the north american fere trade area" paper prepared for a conference on NAFTA at the carter center of emory university (12 feb 1992); robert a pastor, integration with mexico: options for US policy (ny: twenties century fund, 1993)
the income disparity between mexico and its two wealthy northern neighbors is much wider than that between poor and rich european countires, and therefore the prospect of reducing it seemed remote.
+rosenberg _'the new american community: a response to teh europan and asian economic challenge (westpor, CT: praeger, 1992)
+morris l. sweet, regional economic development in the european union and north america (westport, ct: praeger, 1999); mario lopez roldan, 'tres experiencias europeas en materia de integracion economica regional que pueden ser utiles para mexico en el process de integracion de america del norte' madrid, photocopy jan 1996; ricardo grinspun and robert kreklewich, 'instituions, power relations, and unequal integration in the americas: NAFTA as a deficient instiutionality," in economic integration and the EU, ed. kirsten appendini and sven vislew (NY: st. martin's press, 1999); gretchen m. macmillan, managing economic convergence in the EU, in 'toward a north american community: canada, the US, and Mexico, ed. donarld barry (boulder, CO: westview press 1995)
Nicholas v gianaris, ‘the north American free trade agreement and the European union (Westport, CT: praeger, 1998); United Nations economic commission for Europe, ‘economic integration in europea and north America (new York: united nations, 1995)
The main argument for deepening NAFTA, however, is the simplest: problems can no longer be contained in any of the three countries, and new opportunities benefit all three.
+’the north American free trade agreement between the government of the united states, the government of Canada, and the government of the united Mexican states’ (Washington: US government printing office, 1992)
The US spends much more than Europe on health and education per capita. But the US spends more privately; and the European union, publicly.
‘imbalances,’ the ED report on cohesion writes, ‘do not just imply a poorer quality of life for the most disadvantaged regions…[but also] an underutilization of human potential and a failure to take advantage of economic opportunities which could benefit the union as a whole.’
+European COmmision, ‘first report on economic and social cohesion’ 1996, 13 and subsequent reports
Ireland ahs been the most successful. Although burdened with a weak infrastructure and educational system, it took quick advantage of the union and achieved the highest growth rate of any member-state in the first programming period (1989-93) averaging 5% annually, as compared with

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About the author (2001)

Robert A. Pastor (1947-2014) was a member of the National Security Council and a writer on foreign affairs. He was appointed in 2002 as the vice president of international affairs and professor of international relations at American University, where he helped establish the American University of Nigeria. He also founded and heads the university's Center for Democracy and Election Management, and the Center for North American Studies and was Executive Director of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform.

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