Mar 22, 2017

03/22/2017: Did NAFTA cost jobs, or create them?

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We've been talking a lot about NAFTA this week, but let's get down to brass tacks:  What did the North American Free Trade Agreement do? President Donald Trump (not to mention Sen. Bernie Sanders) made NAFTA as a favorite target during the presidential campaign. They'll both tell you it was a “disaster” for the U.S. economy, that it cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs. The reality is not nearly as dramatic or tidy a story. Then, we'll look at how negotiating NAFTA could affect your happy hour. Plus, the latest on Sears' financial woes and more from our series in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Segments From this episode

Fill in the chart: Before and after NAFTA

Mar 22, 2017
Guess how the U.S. economy has changed since the trade agreement was established.
Arjuna Soriano/Raghu Manavalan/Marketplace

What do your margarita and NAFTA have in common?

Mar 22, 2017
Virtually all tequila in this country comes from Mexico.
Virtually all the tequila in the United States comes from Mexico. Plans to renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA are affecting business plans for tequila makers.
Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

Erie depends on immigrants to boost its economy

Mar 22, 2017
Erie's population is declining, and it's relying on immigrants for growth, and the immigrants are relying on each other.
Saad Albidhawi, a long-time mechanic, is part of the reason there are now more than 10 Iraqi-owned auto shops in Erie.
Caitlin Esch/Marketplace

Championship baseball is a welcome distraction for debt-ridden Puerto Rico

Mar 22, 2017
The final game of the World Baseball Classic is tonight, down the road at Dodger Stadium. The United States made the finals for the first time, and it’s playing against a team that’s close to home: Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government bought ads to promote tourism during the game. The island could use a […]

IBM’s marketing chief wants work done on site, not from home

Mar 22, 2017
The company that led the way in telecommuting is reining in its employees, back to the office.

More trouble for iconic retailer Sears

Mar 22, 2017
In a financial filing on Tuesday, Sears said “substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The announcement hit the company’s shares hard. Sears reported a loss of more than $2 billion in 2016. What does this disclosure mean for the retailer and is there any hope of a […]

Did NAFTA cost or create jobs? Both

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Mar 22, 2017
It's hard to assess the trade deal's impact. But that doesn't stop anyone from trying.
Economists estimate that NAFTA has raised U.S. GDP by one half to one percentage point. Above, President Donald Trump, who campaigned on keeping jobs in the U.S., speaks to autoworkers in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Water, water everywhere in California, but no way to hold onto it

Mar 22, 2017
California’s had one of the wettest winters on record — more than twice as much rain and snow as in an average year. That’s especially wild since we’re six years into a historic drought. But California doesn’t have enough dams, reservoirs or other storage. So instead of using it, all that precipitation just joins the […]

We’ve been talking a lot about NAFTA this week, but let’s get down to brass tacks:  What did the North American Free Trade Agreement do? President Donald Trump (not to mention Sen. Bernie Sanders) made NAFTA as a favorite target during the presidential campaign. They’ll both tell you it was a “disaster” for the U.S. economy, that it cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs. The reality is not nearly as dramatic or tidy a story. Then, we’ll look at how negotiating NAFTA could affect your happy hour. Plus, the latest on Sears’ financial woes and more from our series in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Music from the episode

Alfa Beach Com Truise
Pop It Anamanaguchi, meesh
Shooting Holes Twin Shadow
Afria Talks to You Delicate Steve
Cover Your Tracks Young Galaxy
Where the Party At Jagged Edge, Nelly