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Canadians, Americans feel losers in NAFTA

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

Canadians, Americans Feel Losers in NAFTA

October 9, 2006

Adults in Canada and the United States hold similar views about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to a poll by Ipsos-Reid for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Canada Institute on North American Issues.

In the survey, 63 per cent of Canadian respondents-and 53 per cent of American respondents-believe their respective countries were losers as a result of the commerce agreement.

In 1993, NAFTA brought Mexico into the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the U.S. that had been in place since 1989. The two countries share the longest undefended border in the world, over which some $400 billion U.S. in bilateral trade pass annually. More than 500,000 people cross the boundary every day.

Last month, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper discussed bilateral trade relations during a visit to New York, declaring, "We are increasing our cooperation in areas ranging from electronic cargo monitoring to pipeline standards to the recent renewal of our historic North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) treaty. But our partnership on all of these issues depends vitally on our maintaining a secure and efficient border. Our border must not be seen as a fence where one country’s national security stops and the other’s begins. It’s not like that in the real world."

Polling Data

As you may know, Canada, the United States and Mexico entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992 to reduce trade barriers and allow for a North American trading zone for the greater flow of goods and services between these countries. This agreement came into force in 1994. Thinking over the past few years, do you think that, on the whole, Canada/ The United States has been a winner or a loser as a result of this trade agreement?

Canada U.S.
Winner 37% 47%
Loser 63% 53%

Source: Ipsos-Reid / Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars / Canada Institute on North American Issues Methodology: Online interviews with 1,173 adult Canadians and 1,038 adult Americans, conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 26, 2006. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

 source: Angus-Reid