Economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson weigh the impact of trade with China and Mexico on the U.S. labour market in this 2016 paper [PDF] for the National Bureau of Economic Research. A 2015 study showed that Mexico`s prosperity increased by 1.31% as a result of NAFTA tariff reductions and by 118% for Mexico`s intra-Bloc trade.  Inequality and poverty have decreased in the regions of Mexico most affected by globalization.  Studies from 2013 and 2015 showed that Mexican small farmers benefited more from NAFTA than large farmers.   NAFTA critics often focus on the U.S. trade balance with Mexico. While the United States enjoys a slight advantage in services trade by exporting $30.8 billion in 2015 while importing $21.6 billion, the trade balance with the country is generally negative, due to a yawning deficit of $58.8 billion in merchandise trade in 2016. This represents a surplus of $1.7 billion in 1993 (in 1993, the deficit was $36.1 billion). According to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Trump administration`s list is “very consistent with the president`s attitude to love trade barriers and love protectionism.
This makes NAFTA less of a free trade agreement in many ways.  The considerations expressed by the U.S. representative regarding subsidized state-owned enterprises and currency manipulation are not likely to apply in Canada and Mexico, but are intended to send a message to countries outside North America.  Jeffrey Schott of the Peterson Institute for International Economics stated that it was not possible to conclude renegotiations quickly, while alleviating all concerns on the list.  He also said that it would be difficult to do something about trade deficits.  It is impossible to isolate the effects of NAFTA on the larger economy. For example, it is difficult to say with certainty what percentage of the current U.S. trade deficit, which reached a record $65,677 million at the end of 2005, is directly attributable to NAFTA. It is also difficult to say what percentage of the 3.3 million manufacturing jobs that were lost in the United States between 1998 and 2004 is the result of NAFTA and what percentage would have been created without this trade agreement. It cannot even be said with certainty that the intensification of trade between NAFTA countries is exclusively the result of the trade agreement.
Those who support the agreement generally claim NAFTA loans for enhanced trade activity and reject the idea that the agreement has resulted in job losses or a growing trade deficit with Canada and Mexico ($8,039 million and $4,263 million respectively in December 2005). Critics of the agreement generally associate it with these deficits and job losses. Proponents of NAFTA in the United States stressed that the pact was a free trade agreement and not an economic community agreement.  The free movement of goods, services and capital did not extend to work.