On September 30, 2018, the deadline for negotiations between Canada and the United States, a tentative agreement was reached between the two countries, preserving the trilateral pact when the Trump administration submits the agreement to Congress.  The new name of the agreement was „United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA) and entered into force on July 1, 2020.   The DCFTA was intended to remove barriers to trade and investment between the United States, Canada and Mexico. The introduction of NAFTA on January 1, 1994, resulted in the immediate elimination of tariffs on more than half of Mexico`s exports to the United States and more than one-third of U.S. exports to Mexico. Within 10 years of the implementation of the agreement, all tariffs between the United States and Mexico should be eliminated, with the exception of certain U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico, which are expected to expire within 15 years.  Most of the trade between the United States and Canada was already duty-free. NAFTA also aimed to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and protect intellectual property rights in traded goods. The renegotiated agreement contains a chapter on macroeconomic policy and exchange rate issues with new political commitments and transparency in monetary matters. The chapter will address unfair monetary practices by requiring high-level commitments to refrain from competitive devaluations and target exchange rates, while significantly increasing transparency and providing accountability mechanisms. This approach is unprecedented in the context of a trade agreement and will contribute to strengthening macroeconomic and exchange rate stability.
Many critics of NAFTA saw the deal as a radical experiment developed by influential multinationals that sought to increase their profits at the expense of ordinary citizens of the countries concerned. Opposition groups argued that the general rules imposed by NAFTA could undermine local governments by preventing them from passing laws or regulations to protect the public interest. Critics have also argued that the treaty would lead to a significant deterioration in environmental and health standards, promote the privatization and deregulation of key public services, and move family farmers to signatory states. NAFTA is often blamed for things that might not be its fault. In 1999, the Christian Science Monitor wrote of an Arkansas town that it would „collapse, according to some, like so many NAFTA ghost towns that have lost jobs in trade and needle manufacturing to places like Sri Lanka or Honduras.” Sri Lanka and Honduras are not parties to the Agreement. U.S. President Donald Trump railed against this during his campaign, promising to renegotiate the deal and „tear it apart” if the U.S. could not get the concessions he wanted. A renegotiated agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada was approved in 2020 to update NAFTA. But why did Trump and many of his supporters see NAFTA as „the worst trade deal of all time” while others saw its main deficit in a lack of ambition and the solution in even more regional integration? What was promised? What was delivered? Who were the winners of NAFTA and who were the losers? Read on to learn more about the history of the agreement, as well as the main players in the agreement and their results. The previous free trade agreement between Canada and the United States had been controversial and divisive in Canada and had been treated as an issue in the 1988 Canadian election. In this election, more Canadians voted for anti-free trade parties (the Liberals and the New Democrats), but the division of votes between the two parties meant that the pro-free trade Progressive Conservatives (P.C.) with the most seats emerged from the election and thus took power.
Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives had a parliamentary majority and easily passed the Canada-U.S. free trade and NAFTA laws in 1987. Mulroney, however, was replaced as Conservative leader and prime minister by Kim Campbell. Campbell led the Progressive Conservative Party until the 1993 election, when he was decimated by Jean Chrétien`s Liberal Party, which ran on a promise to renegotiate or repeal NAFTA. Chrétien then negotiated two additional agreements with Bush, who had undermined ALC`s consultation process, and worked to „accelerate” the signing before the end of his term, which had run out of time and was expected to forward the necessary ratification and signature of the implementation law to the new President Bill Clinton.  In order to facilitate greater cross-border trade, the United States has entered into an agreement with Mexico and Canada to increase the marginal value of its shipments. Canada will increase its de minimis level from $20 CAD to $40 CAD for taxes for the first time in decades. Canada will also offer duty-free shipments up to a maximum of $150 CAD. Mexico will continue to provide $50 duty-free and will also offer duty-free shipments up to the equivalent of US$117. Shipping values up to these levels would be introduced with minimum formal entry procedures, making it easier for more businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to participate in cross-border trade. In particular, the chapter has the strongest trade secret protection of any previous U.S.
trade agreement. It includes all of the following safeguards against misappropriation of trade secrets, including by state-owned enterprises: civil procedures and remedies, criminal procedures and sanctions, prohibitions on impeding the licensing of trade secrets, legal proceedings to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets during litigation, and sanctions for government officials in the event of unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets. A „subsidiary agreement” concluded in August 1993 to enforce existing national labour law, the North American Agreement on Labour Market Cooperation (NAALC), was severely restricted. He focused on health and safety standards and child labour law, excluded collective bargaining issues, and his „so-called teeth [of application]” were only accessible at the end of a „long and convoluted conflict”.  Obligations to apply existing labour law also raise questions of democratic practice.  Canada`s anti-NAFTA coalition, Pro-Canada Network, suggested that minimum standards guarantees would be „meaningless” without „sweeping democratic reforms in the [Mexican] courts, unions and government.”  However, a subsequent evaluation suggested that NAALC`s grievance principles and mechanisms „have created a new space for advocates to form coalitions and take concrete steps to articulate challenges to the status quo and promote workers` interests.”  On the other hand, Canada has long sold 99% or more of its total oil exports to the United States: it did so even 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.
It was already wide open – Canadians were just producing more. The new deal could help restore some of the 700,000 manufacturing jobs lost in California, New York, Michigan and Texas. On the other hand, it could increase the price of affected imports for U.S. consumers. Inflation would be the result. Proponents of NAFTA in the United States have stressed that the pact is a free trade agreement, not an agreement of the economic community.  The free movement of goods, services and capital it introduced did not extend to labour. By proposing what no other comparable agreement had attempted to do – opening up developed countries to „one big third world country” – NAFTA avoided the creation of common social and employment policies. Labour market and/or workplace regulation was reserved exclusively for national governments.
 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States that created a trilateral trading bloc in North America. The agreement entered into force on January 1, 1994 and replaced the 1988 Canada-U.S. Canada-Canada Free Trade Agreement.  The NAFTA trade bloc formed one of the largest trading blocs in the world in terms of gross domestic product. Mexico and Canada both wanted better access for business travelers. They also wanted women`s rights to be included in the agreement. Not only are none of these other countries members of NAFTA, but none have free trade agreements with the United States.