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Ohio Benefitting From NAFTA

20 years after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a Brookings Institution analysis shows billions of dollars worth of goods and services have been traded across the continent. The analysis also shows Ohio is reaping the benefits. Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Looking at 2010 data, researchers say 885 billion dollars’ worth of goods were traded among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico…with more than half of those transactions happening in major metropolitan areas in all three countries.

JParilla01: “Trade’s increased about threefold since NAFTA.” (:03)

Joseph Parilla is a Brookings research analyst. He says one thing unique about the U.S. relationship with its neighbors is that it includes the trade of rough or unfinished products.

JParilla04: “What I mean by that, is one component part will get sent from Toronto to Cleveland, where it’ll be assembled, and then it’ll be sent somewhere else where it’ll be bought and consumed, and vice-versa.” (:13)

Parilla says the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area ranks 17th out of the top 100 U.S. metro areas for trade activity, and the highest in Ohio. 

JParilla02: “These places range in size from about 500-thousand people to about 20 million, with New York on the high end. So it finds itself in that top 5th, so it’s doing pretty well. Traded just over 7-point-5 billion dollars with Canada and Mexico in 2010.” (:15)

The Brookings report says motor vehicles and parts make up the top commodities shipped from the Cleveland area to Canada and Mexico, followed by machinery and tools.  Outside North America, China is the largest international trading partner of the U.S.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.