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January 19, 2020 

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NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: A economic, international trade treaty between the three nations that occupy the North American continent -- Canada, Mexico, and the United States -- that was launch in 1994. The North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly termed NAFTA, is designed to eliminate assorted trade barriers between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, including the reduction or elimination of many tariffs and nontariff barriers. While economic theory clearly indicates efficiency is enhanced by the reduction and elimination trade restrictions, NAFTA has been strongly opposed by those potentially harmed by more efficient trade, especially labor unions. However, NAFTA is merely one of several international trade agreements created over the years to reduce trade restrictions. Others include the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Maastricht Treaty.

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THRIFT INSTITUTIONS: Non-profit depository financial institutions that were originally established to provide limited banking services, often to specific groups, that were not adequately offered by traditional banks. The three primary thrift institutions are credit unions, savings and loan associations, and mutual savings banks. In recent decades these thrift institutions have broaden the range of financial services, especially offering checkable deposits, and thus operate as banks. In particular, that come under the same monetary policy regulation as traditional banks.

     See also | banking | banks | savings and loan associations | credit unions | mutual savings banks | traditional banks | fractional-reserve banking |


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BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

A comprehensive set of accounts that tracks the flow of currency and other monetary assets coming in to and going out of a nation. These payments are used for international trade, foreign investments, and other financial activities. The balance of payments is divided into two accounts -- current account (which includes payments for imports, exports, services, and transfers) and capital account (which includes payments for physical and financial assets). A deficit in one account is matched by a surplus in the other account. The balance of trade is only one part of the overall balance of payments set of accounts.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time wandering around the downtown area seeking to buy either a wall poster commemorating next Thursday or a pair of gray heavy duty boot socks. Be on the lookout for letters from the Internal Revenue Service.
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The first paper notes printed in the United States were in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents.
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