Today’s Free Trade Fact of the Day comes from Heritage’s own Ambassador Terry Miller who takes a close look at each of the candidates’ views on trade. Before examining some of the candidates’ evolving positions on NAFTA, Amb. Miller lays out some facts comparing the first 13 years under NAFTA with the 13 previous years:

  • During NAFTA, U.S. employment went up from 112.2 million jobs to 137.2 million jobs, an increase of 25 million jobs. We haven’t really heard Ross Perot’s giant sucking sound.
  • The average unemployment rate during NAFTA has been 5.1 percent, compared to 7.1 percent during the 13 years before its passage.
  • Manufacturing output rose 63 percent between 1993 and 2006, compared to 37 percent between 1980 and 1993.
  • Real compensation of manufacturing workers rose 1.6 percent annually during NAFTA as com­pared to 0.9 percent annually in the prior period.
  • Investment rose 107 percent, compared to 45 percent in the comparable prior period.
  • So by all these indicators, we have been better off during NAFTA than we were before its passage.