By Richard Cebula
According to a new set of projections, many industries in the state of Wisconsin are likely to benefit significantly over time from the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the aggregate, over the next five years, as many as 3,300 jobs could be created in Wisconsin as a result of NAFTA. Over 15 years, as many as 7,400 jobs could be created in Wisconsin as a result of NAFTA. Naturally, these figures relate only to NAFTA. Should other factors adversely or favorably impact industries in Wisconsin over these time frames, they would have to be factored in to determine the net overall changes in the number of jobs.
Within this framework, projections are provided for 24 major industries in the state of Wisconsin regarding the likely short-run (up to five years) and long-run (up to 15 years) effects of NAFTA.
In any event, for these positive NAFTA projections to be experienced in Wisconsin, there are several requirements:
- Mexico will have to improve its political, economic, and social conditions to ensure stability;
- Wisconsin businesses will have to aggressively spend more time and effort learning the Mexican culture and cultivating relationships with Mexican businesses and the Mexican government;
- the annual growth rate of Mexico’s real gross domestic product (GDP) will have to average at least five percent; and,
- the commitment to improve Mexico’s infrastructure (especially highways and ports) must be maintained.