After examining regional integration in North America for several weeks some things now remain clear. Mexico, the United States and Canada are heavily dependent on one another’s economies. Long time trade agreements such as NAFTA have enabled the countries to develop these trade relations in hopes to better their own economies. This blog has provided a greater understanding as to what extent these economies are intertwined. The importing of something as simple as tomatoes from one country to another was seen to be enough to trigger anger and resentment between two states. Earlier this year, Florida farmers expressed their frustration because of the low price of Mexican tomatoes that has made it difficult to sell tomatoes on the domestic market. At a first glance this news coverage appeared to support domestic farmers but in reality it showed how the import of goods has provided employment for 5,000 Americans working in the importing and exporting industries. Thus, this again demonstrates how trade is beneficial because it has the ability to keep unemployment rates down. But whether these countries will attempt to further integrate their economies is questionable. Both Canada and the United States are in the midst of establishing free trade agreements with the EU. Regarding the United States this transatlantic agreement is intended to reduce the cost of consumer goods in addition increasing the amount of exchanges which last year alone was worth $646 billion. It is interesting to see how the possibility of such an agreement has placed pressure on Canada to also turn to the EU in hopes of creating a similar agreement. Turning to other continents as oppose to neighbours to improve struggling domestic economies questions the development of future economic integration. Whether or not the XL Keystone pipeline is created will also determine this. Canada has been eager to develop this pipeline that runs from the tar sands of Alberta to the gulf Mexico but the US is much more hesitant to jump on this multi-billion dollar project. President Obama is concerned that with the environmental cost of such an initiative. The aftermath of the oil spill that occurred in Arkansas by the Canadian Exxon pipeline may have been enough to convince the United States that the creation of a new pipeline would be unwise. Lastly, it has been interesting to see, how Canada is slowly letting go of ties with the United States, yet increasing ties with Mexico. Mexico has often been a country to stay away from because of their increasing problem with drug violence and border issues. But Canada is now looking at the trading potential with this growing economy. In order to improve relations Canada is now fast tracking refugee asylum claims and removing the need for visitor visas. Oddly enough the United States is increasing border protection to ensure Mexicans stay out. Overall this blog has shown how regional integration is necessary for the economies of both Canada, Mexico and the United States. However it has also shown how relationships change and how economic ties can be loosened.
Analysis of Regional Integration in North America