What Is North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta)
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. The deal affected thousands of U.S. workers after U.S. companies relocated their production plants to Mexico to take advantage of lower wages and relax workers` health and safety rules. In addition, according to critics, the agreement has led to environmental degradation due to rapid industrialization in Mexico. In 1992, President Bush (USA), Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (Canada) and President Salinas (Mexico) signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The parties also signed two complementary agreements on labour and environmental protection. The three countries ratified the convention in 1993 and came into force on 1 January 1994. Since NAFTA was adopted, U.S. trade interests have often expressed very satisfaction with the agreement. Trade has grown strongly between the three NAFTA nations, but this increase in trade activity has led to growing trade deficits for both the United States with Canada and Mexico-;d the United States imports more from Mexico and Canada than it exports to these trading partners. Critics of the agreement argue that NAFTA is at least partly responsible for these trade deficits and the striking job losses in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade. But before NAFTA, manufacturing jobs were starting to shrink. The NAFTA debate continues.
NAFTA has had three major advantages. U.S. food prices were lower due to duty-free imports from Mexico. Oil imported from Canada and Mexico has prevented the rise in gas prices. NAFTA has also increased trade and economic growth for all three countries. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, called it “the continuation of other catastrophic trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and normal, long-term trade relations with China.” He believes that free trade agreements have led to the loss of American jobs and lower U.S. wages. Sanders said America needs to rebuild its production base with U.S. factories for well-paying jobs for the U.S. workforce, instead of relocating to China and elsewhere.    The debate on the impact of NAFTA on its signatory countries continues.
While the United States, Canada and Mexico have experienced economic growth, higher wages and stronger trade since nafta, experts disagree on the extent to which the agreement has actually contributed to these benefits, if at all, to manufacturing employment. , immigration and consumer goods prices. The results are difficult to isolate and other important developments have occurred on the continent and around the world over the past quarter century. Such trade benefits often come under interest, because while costs are highly concentrated in certain sectors such as the automotive industry, the benefits of an agreement such as NAFTA are widespread in society. PROPONENTs of NAFTA estimate that about 14 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada or Mexico, and that the nearly two hundred thousand export-related jobs created each year by the pact cost an average of 15-20% more than lost jobs.