A “secondary agreement” concluded in August 1993 to enforce existing national labour law, the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC), was severely restricted. He focused on health and safety standards and child labour law, and excluded collective bargaining issues, and his “so-called [enforcement] teeth” were only accessible at the end of a “long and convoluted” litigation process.  Obligations to apply existing labour law also raise questions of democratic practice.  Canada`s pro-CANADA, anti-NAFTA coalition, suggested that minimum standards guarantees would be “meaningless” without “comprehensive democratic reforms in [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.”  However, the most important aspect for Canada – the opening of its economy to the United States, by far Canada`s largest trading partner – preceded NAFTA when Canada and the United Kingdom entered into force in 1989. Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Total trade between Canada and the United States has increased rapidly as a result of Canada`s trade liberalization. After NAFTA, Canadian exports to the United States increased from $110 billion to $346 billion; imports from the United States increased almost as well. U.S. President Donald Trump lassed down on him during his election campaign, promising to renegotiate and “tear up” the deal 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 perhaps ever made” while others saw its main flaw 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 its terms. Although NAFTA did not keep its promises, it remained in force. In fact, in 2004, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) extended NAFTA to five Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua). In the same year, the Dominican Republic joined the group by signing a free trade agreement with the United States, followed by Colombia in 2006, Peru in 2007 and Panama in 2011. According to many experts, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed on October 5, 2015, represented an extension of NAFTA on a much larger scale. When NAFTA negotiations began in 1991, the goal of the three countries was to integrate Mexico into the high-wage developed economies of the United States and Canada. The hope was that free trade would bring Mexico stronger and more stable economic growth by creating new jobs and opportunities for its growing workforce and detering illegal migration. For the U.S.
and Canada, Mexico was seen as both a promising export market and a low-cost investment location that could improve the competitiveness of U.S. and Canadian companies. NAFTA was the largest free trade agreement in the world when it was established on January 1, 1994. NAFTA was the first time two developed countries signed a trade agreement with an emerging market. Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the United States and the second largest export market for U.S. products. In 2018, Mexico was our third largest trading partner (after Canada and China) and our second largest export market. Reciprocal trade in goods and services amounted to $678 billion, and this trade directly and indirectly supports millions of jobs in the United States. The U.S. sold $265 billion worth of U.S. goods to Mexico and $34 billion worth of services in 2018, for a total of $299 billion to the U.S. .