San Antonio – Proving the skeptics wrong, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a boon to Texas cities according to an analysis released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). U.S. Senator Phil Gramm joined the foundation in its release of the study at the historic San Antonio German School – site of the NAFTA treaty signing by President George Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1992.

According to the TPPF analysis, Texas has increased exports to Canada and Mexico by up to $16 billion since 1993 when NAFTA was enacted and, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), NAFTA has created over 190,000 export related jobs.

“The data clearly shows that free trade works and that we should trust free markets to create prosperity,” said Jeff Judson, President & CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a San Antonio based non-profit research institute.

U. S. Senator Phil Gramm said, “These numbers show that pulling down barriers and encouraging trade is generating an economic boom in Texas, and works to the advantage of all three nations. Nations which practice protectionism are forced to slice their economic pies into smaller and smaller pieces and to cheat their own people by denying them better goods at lower prices.”

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute established in 1989, headquartered in San Antonio, and dedicated to the principles of limited government, free enterprise, private property rights and individual responsibility.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Texas increased exports to Mexico by up to 53% and to Canada by up to 122% equivalent to $16 billion in added exports. Texas exports to both nations hit record levels under NAFTA

  • Since NAFTA, Texas experienced the second-largest gain in total exports among all 50 states. At $18.9 billion in 1997 exports, Mexico is by far Texas’ largest foreign market. Canada is second at $8.12 billion. In a distant third is Japan at $2.22 billion.

  • Texas’ exports to Canada have increased by 122% under NAFTA producing $5.23 billion in annual exports. In the first two years after NAFTA, Texas increased its exports to Canada by 29% and 25%. These were the two biggest single-year increases since the University of Massachusetts’ Institute for Social and Economic Research (MISER) began collecting data in 1988. The rise in exports to Canada was double Texas’ rise to non- NAFTA nations.

  • Of the 32 Texas industries that export to Mexico, 24 had gains under NAFTA – all had at least double-digit gains. Of the 31 that export to Canada, 27 had gains.

  • Of Texas’ 11 metro areas, almost all witnessed big increases in exports to Canada and Mexico. The big winners are Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. Houston and Dallas each had near 100% increases in exports to Canada and Mexico under NAFTA. San Antonio had a 56% increase in exports to Canada and an incredible 202% increase to Mexico. Austin-San Marcos benefitted with a 105% increase to Canada and an amazing 233% increase to Mexico. Corpus Christi had a 56% increase to Canada and an eye-popping 433% increase in exports to Mexico.

  • On the negative side, companies like Haggar, Lockheed, Levi Strauss, and others claim injury from NAFTA, and have filed for compensation from the Department of Labor. Among all 50 states, Texas has the second-highest amount of workers certified as hurt by NAFTA or “foreign competition,” and thus eligible for trade-adjustment assistance (TAA). In total, the Department of Labor has certified 21,019 Texas workers. It is important to note that a certification of being hurt by NAFTA does not necessarily mean a job loss caused by NAFTA.

  • So at worst, Texas has seen 21,019 workers somehow negatively affected by NAFTA while over 190,000 Texas jobs have been created by NAFTA.

  • According to critics, El Paso is said to have “lost badly” from NAFTA. Some 10,000 of its workers have been certified as injured by NAFTA – more than any U.S. city. Nearly half of all Texas workers eligible for TAA are from El Paso. Ironically, however, the El Paso region has doubled its exports to Mexico, selling an added $2.6 billion. Using the DoC’s calculation, the El Paso region gained roughly 38,000 jobs under NAFTA – almost four times those hurt. Those who decry El Paso’s losses rarely mention these gains.