Weighing NAFTA’s Importance

According to STRATFOR’s Marc Lanthemann, NAFTA’s a big deal–but not as important to America as the Louisiana Purchase.

Lanthemann’s editorial offers a nice geo-political Northern American viewpoint.  But the editorial omits a critical element in North America’s future success:  Canada and America’s ability to deepen their “incomplete” economic relationship, along with Mexican economic reforms, will play a major role in determining whether remains competitive on the global marketplace.

In any case, Lanthemann’s article is worth a read:

The true benefits to the United States and Canada will be, as they have been so far, economic rather than geopolitical. Trade balances are likely to improve, yet again boosting the interlinked economies of the three North American nations.

Twenty years after its formation, NAFTA remains a useful, if incomplete, expression of the economic ties between these three countries. It has not been, and will not be, on par with the establishment of NATO and the 1803 Louisiana Purchase as one of the fulcrums of U.S. history, despite Al Gore’s hyperbolic claim in 1993.

The true bonds between the three countries are their aligned and complementary interests born of their shared geopolitical fate. Though the future of the United States, Mexico and Canada is by no means set in stone, there are strong indicators that the triad has what it takes to be both a stable and dynamic geopolitical grouping in the long term — something that currently seems out of reach anywhere else in the world.

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