NAFTA: A Just the Facts Overview
NAFTA negotiations are under way as the Trump Administration tries to bring the twenty-three-year-old agreement into the modern era.
On January 1, 1994 the U.S., Canada, and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law. The ultimate goal of NAFTA was to generate jobs, grow the economy in the Western Hemisphere, drive down costs, and unify the region. NAFTA connected two developed countries to a developing country, making it the first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to do so.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump attacked NAFTA as being a bad deal for American workers, arguing that because of NAFTA U.S. manufacturing jobs have decreased and left Americans out of work. Initially, President Trump said that he would pull out of the deal, but after speaking with leaders from Canada and Mexico he reconsidered. Last month, the administration put forward their plan for negotiations. As The Washington Post reported, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) outlined a plan to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico, restrict the amount of imported material in goods that qualify under the agreement, and eliminate a controversial mechanism to review trade remedies.
So far, nothing major has come from the negotiations, the first of which took place on August 20 in the U.S. The three countries scheduled meetings in September to continue negotiations, the first in Mexico and the second in Canada. Washington D.C. will host the third meeting in October.