North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement was formed on January 1, 1994 with the final provisions being fully implemented as of January 1, 2008. The agreement is meant to eliminate a majority of the trade barriers, as well as invest in the three member nations: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. NAFTA is viewed as one of the most successful trade agreements in history and has helped provide increases in agricultural trade, as well as investments between the three member countries. The purpose of the North American Free Trade Agreement is to eliminate trade barriers, which is mostly done by eliminating a number of non-tariff measures that affect agricultural trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The main criticism is that in order for products received from other countries (Asia, Europe, etc) to be traded duty-free or at a lower tariff between member nations, they must first be significantly transformed or processed by one member nation before it can be sent to one of the other two nations. This causes additional costs associated with trying to alter the products and can also be time consuming due to sanitary and safety considerations. There is also a need for definition of what “significantly” means in this process, especially with the trade of edible products. This agreement has been very beneficial for both the United States & Mexico since it’s formation. Under NAFTA, all agricultural trade barriers between Mexico and the United States were immediately made void. Full implementation of a free trade agreement began January 1, 2008. Canada has also benefited from the formation of NAFTA. Under this agreement, all agricultural provisions of the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (1989) were incorporated along with the addition of new provisions. Ultimately, all agricultural goods have been traded tariff free (with a few exceptions) since January 1, 1998. Mexico & Canada have also come...
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