Category: History Essay

It was in 1993 that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a free-trade trilateral deal affecting the United States, Mexico, and Canada came to be. The U.S President Bill Clinton signed the agreement trade pact into law. The aim of the trade pact was to enhance free trade among three northern countries, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada by eliminating all tariffs and restrictions. Abolition of trade tariffs would lead to both gradual and radical effects on the economies of the three countries and on job availability. This research paper seeks to determine the effect of the passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1993 to the economy and availability of jobs to Mexican and U.S. citizens as well as its significance to workers.

Background Information

In December 1992 and on three different occasions, Carlos Salinas de Gortari the Mexican President, President George Bush and Brian Mulroney the Canadian Prime Minister signed NAFTA, a North American Free Trade Agreement. The trade pact had the framework of abolishing restrictions with regard to the movement of merchandises, services, and investments within the three North American countries, Canada, U.S., and Mexico. On the fateful day of November 17, 1993, the Representative House saw the approval of NAFTA by 234 to 200 votes, 16 more than the minimum votes required for passage. The Senate approval followed on November 20 by 61 to 38 votes1. The signing into law of the trade pact took place on December 8, 1993, and implementation of NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994.

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NAFTA is outlined to have been inspired by the European Community who eliminated tariffs to boost trade among member countries. The purpose of NAFTA was to eliminate tariff hurdles from manufacturing, agricultural produce, services and investment, importation and exportation as well the protection of intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights, and patents) among three largest Northern American countries. Commissions to settle trade disputes and environmental concerns were also stipulated in NAFTA. I