Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. John W. Outland

Second Advisor

Dr. Arthur B. Gunlicks

Third Advisor

Dr. J. D. Kandeh


This thesis consists of two parts. First, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is described in terms of free trade theory, its precedents, and the text of the treaty. Second, the international aspects of Virginia's economy are examined with regard to NAFTA. This thesis asserts that if implemented, NAFTA will produce the following results for Virginia: merchandise exports to Canada and Mexico will continue to increase; employment supported by merchandise exports will continue to increase; factory relocations and related employment losses will continue to be outpaced by employment growth in other manufacturing areas; trade in services will undergo direct and indirect increases in volume and employment; and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico will continue to increase. Given these changes, NAFTA should be seen as having a beneficial impact on Virginia, and should receive the support of its people, business leaders, and political leaders.