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Economics: An A-Z Guide by Matthew Bishop

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N

NAFTA

Short for North American Free-Trade Agreement. In 1993, the United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to lower the barriers to trade among the three economies. The formation of this regional TRADE AREA was opposed by many politicians in all three countries. In the United States and Canada, in particular, there were fears that NAFTA would result in domestic job losses to cheaper locations in Mexico. Most studies have found that, in practice, the economic gains far outweighed any costs. Even so, the agreement remains controversial to such an extent that in 2008, during his campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama talked about renegotiating it.

NAIRU

The non-accelerating-inflation rate of unemployment (see NATURAL RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT ...

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