|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
The North American Free Trade Agreement, usually referred to as "NAFTA", was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It provides for a less-encumbered flow of goods and capital between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The U.S. and Canada had already gradually reduced their cross-border tariffs to zero by the time it was passed, partially due to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA).
Conspiracy theorists view of NAFTA asserts that the only thing that the agreement provided for was improved exploitation by capital in the cheap labor markets. However, they generally use the term "exploitation" in a vague and ill-defined way, roughly equivalent to any type of employer-employee relationship in which the employee is paid a low salary by American standards. However, the standard view among economists is that those investments created working opportunities at higher salaries than the alternative employment opportunities for Mexicans, as well as welfare enhancing effects trough the availability of goods and other exchange-rate related effects to the whole economy.
H. Ross Perot famously predicted in the 1992 Presidential race that the result of implementation of NAFTA would be a "sucking sound" of jobs migrating to Mexico, creating unemployment problems in the U.S., especially in the manufacturing labor market. However, most economists including Paul Krugman supported NAFTA and predicted that no such thing would happen. They pointed out instead that proponents and opponents of the treaty were largely exaggerating its pros or cons. In the end, after 1994 the U.S. experienced a long period of low unemployment, until around 2008 when the current financial crisis began.
 Other interpretations
NAFTA is an acronym that means: "North American Cheap Labor Agreement"
The sad commentary is that now the dollars are freer to transverse the borders than the people.