This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Effects of NAFTA Researched
By UW-Eau Claire Professor, Student
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: March 14, 2000

EAU CLAIRE — The North American Free Trade Agreement took effect January 1, 1994. Now, six years later, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor and student have teamed up to study the impact the agreement has had on the United States.
Dr. Rama Yelkur, assistant professor of management and marketing, and senior Nancy Holm, Staples, Minn., have been studying the impact of NAFTA on U.S. businesses, and they plan to expand their research to look at Mexican and Canadian businesses. Research began with the help of a summer research experience grant provided by the Office of University Research in the summer of 1999 and is expected to be completed by May 2000.
For their research, Yelkur and Holm conducted a thorough literature review of more than 100 published articles on NAFTA. They also searched databases such as the National Trade Data Bank. Statistical data on imports and exports was compiled by using such sources as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Yelkur said.
"I think it is an important topic as it is sure to continue to have an effect on how we do business here in the United States," Holm said.
The major provisions of NAFTA were "to provide market access for the three NAFTA countries in the NAFTA market, to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers among member countries and to help make companies in the NAFTA economies globally competitive," Yelkur said.
As a result of the research, Yelkur and Holm found that all industries have benefited from NAFTA in some way, although some have benefited more than others have.
"The automobile manufacturers were the biggest winners in the U.S. due to the elimination of almost all barriers to trade in this sector," Yelkur said. "Overall, industries that used high technology were beneficiaries because of the efficiencies made possible by NAFTA."
The research findings are of interest to U.S. and Wisconsin businesses in many ways. Mexico has replaced Japan as the United States' second largest trading partner, and Wisconsin is among the top 20 states that exports to Mexico, Yelkur said.
"Our findings have implications on the future of trade between the NAFTA countries and the impact on various industries," Yelkur said.
"I thought this was a great opportunity to work with a professor on something that was especially related to my area of study," said Holm, a business administration and Spanish double major with a double minor in German and marketing.
The duo plan to submit their findings to business and marketing conferences and also plan to write journal articles based on their findings for submission to various international journals.
Yelkur and Holm will present "The Impact of NAFTA on U.S. Businesses" at a program sponsored by the Office of University Research from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, in the Presidents Room, Davies Center. Attendees may bring lunch to eat during the presentation.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: March 14, 2000