NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

North American Free Trade Agreement

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), accord establishing a free-trade zone in North America; it was signed in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect on Jan. 1, 1994. NAFTA immediately lifted tariffs on the majority of goods produced by the signatory nations. It also calls for the gradual elimination, over a period of 15 years, of most remaining barriers to cross-border investment and to the movement of goods and services among the three countries. Major industries affected include agriculture, automobile and textile manufacture, telecommunications, financial services, energy, and trucking. NAFTA also provides for labor and environmental cooperation among member countries. The pact contains provisions for the inclusion of additional member nations. Labor representatives have criticized NAFTA, claiming the agreement has led to numerous jobs lost in the United States because industries have moved plants to Mexico (see maquiladoras); NAFTA proponents point to the U.S. jobs created because of increased imports by Mexico and Canada. The agreement has negatively affected the economies of several Caribbean countries whose exports to the United States now compete with duty-free Mexican exports.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Encyclopedia of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the New American Community, and Latin-American Trade
Jerry M. Rosenberg.
Greenwood Press, 1995
North American Free Trade: Issues and Recommendations
Gary Clyde Hufbauer; Jeffrey J. Schott.
Institute for International Economics, 1992
The North American Free Trade Agreement: Labor, Industry, and Government Perspectives
Mario F. Bognanno; Kathryn J. Ready.
Praeger, 1993
The NAFTA Debate: Grappling with Unconventional Trade Issues
M. Delal Baer; Sidney Weintraub.
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994
NAFTA: What Comes Next?
Sidney Weintraub.
Praeger, 1994
NAFTA in Transition
Stephen J. Randall; Herman W. Konrad.
University of Calgary Press, 1995
Policy Choices: Free Trade among NAFTA Nations
Karen Roberts; Mark I. Wilson.
Michigan State University Press, 1996
NAFTA, WTO, and Global Business Strategy: How AIDS, Trade, and Terrorism Affect Our Economic Future
Bradly J. Condon.
Quorum Books, 2002
Green Politics and Global Trade: NAFTA and the Future of Environmental Politics
John J. Audley.
Georgetown University Press, 1997
The Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border
David Bacon.
University of California Press, 2004
Ruling the World: Power Politics and the Rise of Supranational Institutions
Lloyd Gruber.
Princeton University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "NAFTA and Beyond: Is Free Trade Contagious?"
Regionalism, Multilateralism, and Economic Integration: The Recent Experience
Gary P. Sampson; Stephen Woolcock.
United Nations University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The North American Free Trade Agreement"
Regions, Globalization, and the Knowledge-Based Economy
John H. Dunning.
Oxford University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Regional Integration: NAFTA and the Reconfiguration of North American Industry"
Mexico's Politics and Society in Transition
Joseph S. Tulchin; Andrew D. Selee.
L. Rienner, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "NAFTA and the WTO in the Transformation of Mexico's Economic System"
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