What Year Did The North American Free Trade Agreement Take Effect


Economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson weigh the impact of trade with China and Mexico on the U.S. labour market in this 2016 paper [PDF] for the National Bureau of Economic Research. When NAFTA negotiations began in 1991, the goal for all three countries was to integrate Mexico into the developed, high-income economies of the United States and Canada. The hope was that freer trade would bring stronger and more stable economic growth to Mexico by providing new jobs and opportunities for its growing workforce and discouraging illegal immigration. For the United States and Canada, Mexico has been seen as both a promising export market and a less expensive investment site that can improve the competitiveness of U.S. and Canadian businesses. The free trade agreement was concluded in 1988 and NAFTA extended most of the provisions of the free trade agreement to Mexico. NAFTA was negotiated by the governments of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican Prime Minister Carlos Salinas de Gortari. An interim agreement on the pact was reached in August 1992 and signed by the three heads of state and government on 17 December. NAFTA was ratified by the national parliaments of the three countries in 1993 and came into force on January 1, 1994.

Overall, Canada has become more dependent on trade with the United States and has based its southern neighbour on 75 per cent of its exports. Other high-income countries tend to be much more diverse and rarely rely more than 20% on a single partner. U.S. presidents have long,s warm relationships with Canadian prime ministers, but Mr. Trump has not hesitated to use that dependency as leverage. As part of the USMCA talks, he threatened to impose new tariffs on Canadian auto parts if Ottawa did not accept trade concessions. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce attributed to nafta that U.S.

trade in goods and services with Canada and Mexico increased from $337 billion in 1993 to $1.2 trillion in 2011, while the AFL-CIO held the agreement responsible for sending 700,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico at that time. [86] On the other hand, Canada has long sold the United States 99% or more of all its oil exports: it did so before the two countries concluded a free trade agreement in 1988. In other words, NAFTA does not appear to have done much to open up the U.S. market to Canadian crude oil. It was very open — Canadians were producing more. Second, NAFTA eliminated many tariffs on imports and exports between the three countries. Tariffs are taxes that are used to increase the cost of foreign goods. NAFTA has developed specific rules to regulate trade in agricultural products, motor vehicles and clothing.

A “secondary agreement” reached in August 1993 on the application of existing domestic labour law, the North American Convention on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) [39], was severely restricted. With regard to health and safety standards and child labour law, it excluded collective bargaining issues, and its “control teeth” were only accessible at the end of a “long and painful” dispute. [40] The obligations to enforce existing labour law have also raised questions of democratic practice. [37] The Canadian anti-NAFTA coalition Pro-Canada Network suggested that guarantees of minimum standards in the absence of “extensive democratic reforms in the [Mexican] courts, unions and government” would be of no use. [41] However, subsequent evaluations indicated that NAALC`s principles and complaint mechanisms “created a new space for princes to form coalitions and take concrete steps to articulate the challenges of the status quo and promote the interests of workers.” [42] Supporters of NAFTA in the United States stressed that the pact was a free trade agreement and not an agreement on the Economic Community. [37] The free movement of goods, services and capital did not extend to work.