In January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a state-of-the-art market-opening agreement, came into force. Since then, NAFTA has systematically eliminated most tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. By establishing a strong and reliable framework for investment, NAFTA has also helped create the environment of confidence and stability required for long-term investment. NAFTA was preceded by the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Negotiations toward a free trade agreement between the United States and Canada began in 1985. Sixteen months later, the two nations came together and agreed to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA). It was a historic agreement that placed Canada and the United States at the forefront of trade liberalization.
Key elements of the Agreement included the elimination of tariffs and the reduction of many non-tariff barriers to trade. The FTA was also among the first trade agreements to address trade in services. It also included a dispute settlement mechanism for the fair and expeditious resolution of trade disagreements, and established a ground-breaking system for the binominal review of trade remedy determinations, thereby providing an alternative to domestic judicial review.
In practical terms, Canada and the United States agreed to remove bilateral border measures on traded goods, which included the removal of tariffs on goods such as meat products, fruits and vegetables, beverages, processed foods, live animals, wine, clothing and textiles, fuels, electrical goods and machinery. Canada-U.S. FTA ~ Chronology of Events
September 26, 1985: Canada proposes a free trade agreement with the United States. October 4, 1987: Substantive negotiations conclude and agreement is reached on the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. January 2 1988: The Agreement is signed by leaders from Canada and the United...