High-skilled labour migration figures prominently in global policy narratives. Increasingly, countries in the global north have introduced policies to attract and facilitate the entry of skilled migrants. More recently, the high-skilled migrant is cast as an 'agent of development' within policy discourse and practice. This paper challenges this rhetoric by interrogating the ways in which the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is implicated in skilled worker mobility. Specifically, it focuses on the empirical case of the nascent continental nursing labour market to highlight the linkages between trade, migration, and development. Two specific interrelated aspects are investigated. First, the ways in which the NAFTA appeared to promote a set of linkages between nursing labour markets of Canada, US, and Mexico through its mobility provisions. Second and relatedly, the paper explores how the new continental nursing market, engendered by the NAFTA, has created a space for third party actors, most notably nursing recruiters, to facilitate cross-border mobility of nurses. The paper emphasises the importance of considering the diverse contexts that are implicated in the production, mobility, and governance of specific skills. This consideration troubles dominate policy narratives of skilled migration as being either a boon or detriment to development goals.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Care work, Development, NAFTA, Nursing, Recruitment, Skilled migration
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1780
Journal Population, Space and Place
Citation
Gabriel, C. (2013). NAFTA, Skilled Migration, and Continental Nursing Markets. Population, Space and Place. doi:10.1002/psp.1780