The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future

Paperback | September 6, 2012

byRobert A. Pastor

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In its first seven years, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tripled trade among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and the region's share of the world economy grew from 30 to 36 percent. In 2001, however, North America peaked. Trade slowed among the three, manufacturing jobs shrunk,and illegal migration and drug-related violence soared. Europe caught up, and China leaped ahead. In The North American Idea, eminent scholar and policy-maker Robert Pastor demonstrates that no two countries are more important to the U.S. economy, security, and society than Canada and Mexico. He explains that NAFTA's mandate was too limited to address the new North American agenda. Interestgroups and nativism inhibited bolder proposals, and the three governments lost their way. To overcome resistance and inertia, the leaders need to start with an idea big enough to inspire people in all three countries to forge a formidable region able to compete with a dynamic East Asia. Drawing onfirst-hand experience as a policy-maker and analyst, Pastor shows how this idea - once woven into the national consciousness of the three countries - could mobilize public support for continental solutions to problems that have confounded each nation working on its own. To stimulate trade and reduceillegal migration, for example, the three countries should establish a fund to invest in the continent's infrastructure. Such a fund would be impossible without leadership and an idea of the continent's current importance and its future promise. Challenging readers to view our continent in a new way, Robert Pastor offers an expansive vision and a detailed blueprint for a more integrated, dynamic, and equitable North America.

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In its first seven years, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tripled trade among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and the region's share of the world economy grew from 30 to 36 percent. In 2001, however, North America peaked. Trade slowed among the three, manufacturing jobs shrunk,and illegal migration and drug-related violen...

Robert Pastor is Professor of International Relations and Founder and Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University. He served on the National Security Council and as a Consultant to the State and Defense Departments. He is the author of sixteen other books, including Limits to Friendship: The U.S. and Mexic...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:September 6, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199934029

ISBN - 13:9780199934027

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Table of Contents

ForewordPart I: Should We Fear North America?1. A Piata for Pandering Pundits2. North America's Genetic Code3. Who Speaks for North America?Part II: Trespassing4. Transcending the Borders5. Speed Bumps, Potholes, and Roadblocks on the NAFTA SuperhighwayPart III: The North American Imperative6. A North American Community - A Vision7. New Policies for North America's 21st Century - A BlueprintAcknowledgements