North America Free Trade Agreement

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North America Free Trade Agreement

A controversial free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Signed in 1993, it was the first free trade agreement between a developing nation (Mexico) and two developed nations. The agreement reduced or eliminated most trade restrictions between the participants. In particular, NAFTA allowed for the more or less free importation and exportation of agricultural products and textiles. Proponents of NAFTA argue that the agreement allowed for cheaper access to goods, especially food, which in turn increased the real incomes in all three countries. Critics contend that the agreement has not substantially reduced poverty in any of the participating countries. Mexican critics complain that NAFTA reduced profits for farmers and agricultural workers unable to compete with American agribusiness.

American organized labor have argued that the agreement has accelerated deindustrialization and caused job losses because it has become cheaper for American companies to move factories to Mexico and hire Mexican workers. NAFTA proponents note that employment in the United States increased between 1993 and 2007, and that factories in the U.S. were closing even before NAFTA was signed.

Canadian opposition to NAFTA has been largely related to environmental concerns, particularly the lack of oversight for the enforcement of its environmental provisions. Because NAFTA allows Canadian water to be bought and sold as a commodity, some environmental groups have been concerned that this would cause the degradation of Canadian wild lands. See also: Maquiladora.

North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

a regional ‘free trade area established in 1989 by the USA and Canada, which was extended to include Mexico in 1994. NAFTA aims to remove trade barriers for most manufactured goods, raw materials and agricultural produce over a 10-year period, as well as restrictions on cross border investment, banking and financial services. See TRADE INTEGRATION entry for further discussion.
References in periodicals archive ?
Clarke was fired from his position following an adolescent antic at the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The enterprise, signed by Charles Aug, chairman of GarrickAug, and Ernesto Gomez, president of Invedesa, follows within months of the passage of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
Mrs Clinton suggested that the young Illinois senator had been dishonest in his handling of the North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), that he was too inexperienced to be president, and that he would need a "foreign policy instruction manual" to keep America safe.
He plans to return to the region early next year to spell out the full extent of trading opportunities with Canada, which is part of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
CAFTA would bridge the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the north and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) to the south.
CAFTA is essentially a sequel to the generally successful North America Free Trade Agreement, which brought together the U.
The work also contains a useful compendium of organizations, agreements and trade balances, as well as an evaluation of the first seven years of the North America Free Trade Agreement.

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