• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

NAFTA & Economic Development along transportation/trade corridors

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Allright, question for the frobbing brian (tm) of cyburbia.

-I'm doing a project on economic development along major trade/transit corridors in post NAFTA North America and I am looking for links to articles and/or case studies I can use for part of the literature review. I am doing the project on Buffalo, and

1.) Why there has not been significant economic growth since the agreement (I'm also using other border cities to compare to Buffalo), seeing how Buffalo is positioned along the Canada to Miami trade route and is the 2nd largest border crossing into Canada. I know a lot has to do with jobs leaving for china now, as mexico is experiencing a loss of jobs.

2.) How can the city take advantage of its position as a border-town on a major trade corridor, in a global economy, and increase economic development?

I have a good number of articles so far, but was wondering if there are other articles out there relating to this topic, that I probally missed, e.g. other cities response and action to free trade, how some are taking advantage of it or losing out to it, etc.

-Other border cities that would probally be used in the comparison part of the project would include, Detriot MI, El Paso TX, and San Diego CA, although major water port of entries along either coast could be used.

Thanks foaming and throbbing brian (tm)!
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
In addition to looking at those particular cities for programs, you may also want to check out some of the State Economic Development programs for those areas. I have heard that Texas has a strong State program, which helps to fund local initiatives. State funding and regional partnerships may be key when dealing with corridor development.

Texas Border Initiatives Link

Arizona Office of Economic Development Links

I know of a few people in California that worked with CalTrans on post-NAFTA truck traffic studies, but I'm not sure what office works with Economic Development. I'm sure there would links from City of San Diego and/or San Diego County websites. Good luck... sounds like an interesting project.

Although it's not right on the border, the City of Seattle or possibly a smaller city like Bellingham may have economic development programs related to NAFTA as well.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Thanks for the links, the Texas Border Inititives is very interesting. I probally should have mentioned in the last post that I am including our state's economic development program, although its interesting that we don't have a border inititives program (unless I'm missing something).
As for border traffic, I have counts dating back to the 70's for cross-border traffic, divided into trucks, or passenger cars/busses, although I'll probally just use counts from the 90's on. I found that the USDOT also has plenty of statisics on border traffic.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I don't think this issue has gained a lot of attention because NAFTA may not really have a border impact, other than the border becoming somewhat "transparent." If anything, NAFTA may have lessened the reasons why a company might have an interest in opening a plant "across the border." The one thing I have observed is increased flows of goods along major north-south routes from Mexico to Canada, and an increase of warehousing and distribution in the more central states. Our laws to place some significant restrictions on truck traffic from Mexico coming into the US, which tends to favor transfer facilities on that border, but the same is not true of Canada.

I am curious - what do the border states with NAFTA-based programs focus on as a strategy?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
jordanb said:
[insert giant sucking sound]
Yes, that is what the Canadians feared. The last time I checked, the company my grandfather founded in the 1930's is still in existence. The manufacturers I work with in my city are still buying parts from north of the border. There are still many products stamped 'hecho en Canada."
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
-Thanks for the help so far, I'm getting some other good sources out of these links as well, and the proposal was accepted. Time to get the reviews under way and collect more as the process goes on.

As for the
insert giant sucking sound here
from jordanb, I understand and appreciate your twisted sick humor that comes with this whole process. A lot of people didn't understand what this whole agreement would mean for the workers themselves. Although, this was at the same time the global economy was growing and beginning to take its toll on many manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and now Mexico.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Rumpy Tunanator said:
2.) How can the city take advantage of its position as a border-town on a major trade corridor, in a global economy, and increase economic development?
Put up a tollbooth!

I left after work last firday to drive down to visit my brother in South Carolina.
The shortest route is 95 south to 20 west. Unfortunately that takes me through Wilmington, Baltimore, and DC at the height of rush hour so i went 76 west to 81 south to 77 south.

I've long noticed that 81 seems to be the "truckers' 95" - used as a detour around the congestion of the big cities. That many trucks on a corridor with light population, not much industrial capacity, and no ports didn't make sense. On this last trip I started reading license plates and the cab stencils - Quebec, Quebec, Ontario, Quebec. It's impossible to tell where they're going or what they're carrying but it's interesting.

that's the brilliance of NAFTA (in twisted neo-lib logic) If you're a big company why not ship your stuff through Canada, use canadian stevedores, truckers, etc. Given the exchange rate you're getting a 40% discount on shipping. Halifax is closer to New York than Charleston is. Toronto is closer to Chicago than New York is.

Sad to say but if you're looking at capturing jobs from the cross border trade you could take a less from third world countries. Set up an Export Processing Zone somewhere along the Buffalo Waterfront. An EPZ is a trade area where local labor and environmental laws don't apply. This way you can remain competitive with the Canadians and attract ships to your side of the Niagara River.

With canadian truckers free to travel anywhere in the country they want warehousing isn't much of an option - that's the only thing i can think of, not that i recommend it.

http://www.wepza.org/
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
jresta said:
Put up a tollbooth!
We have plenty of those already, and were trying to get rid of the commuter ones at the moment. What a huge political mess.


jresta said:
Sad to say but if you're looking at capturing jobs from the cross border trade you could take a less from third world countries. Set up an Export Processing Zone somewhere along the Buffalo Waterfront. An EPZ is a trade area where local labor and environmental laws don't apply. This way you can remain competitive with the Canadians and attract ships to your side of the Niagara River.
Whoa, this seems kind of crazy, but at the same time tempting. Sort of like international waters, where anything goes. Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to add this into the mix.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
I was being completely facetious. If this were legal, which it isn't, it would be the worst thing you could do to your local economy. You would exert immediate downward pressure on wages throughout Buffalo and eventually WNY.
When people are bringing home sub-canadian wages but have to come home to american rents and american grocery stores you've got a major, spiraling poverty crisis on your hands. When people in the industrial sector don't have money to spend your services sector will fall apart. Not to mention the missing eyes and limbs your workforce would be running around with after junking OSHA regs.

Not only that but canadian companies would start lowering wages to compete with services on the american side and so would start the downward spiral.

That link that i sent you was the industry group - try this one
http://www.transnationale.org/pays/epz.htm


This book is a must read on the topic-
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0761986677/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-6113362-0937457#reader-link
 
Top