In this part, three experts examine the macroeconomic issues of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Chapter 4, Robert Shelburne compares NAFTA with the Southern expansion of the European Community in the 1980s when Greece, Spain and Portugal were admitted to the European Community. His comparison includes, inter alia, population, income and trade volume. Shelburne’s contribution is particularly important because of the prevailing misconception among the general public, including some observers of North American issues, that NAFTA is analogous to the European Community. Shelburne argues that despite some similarities between the two cases, ‘the economic integration of the EC is much more extensive than what is being planned for the NAFTA … [and therefore] one must be careful in making analogies between the two cases’. Nevertheless, he concludes that, if the experience of the EC is repeated in North America, ‘the Spanish case seems most analogous to the Mexican case ... [and] if the Spanish experience is duplicated, we would expect Mexican growth to increase, an increased trade deficit for Mexico matched by capital inflows from the U.S., significant increases in the volume of bilateral trade with much of it being intra-industry, some trade diversion and a very small convergence in income and productivity’.
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