NAFTA celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and the three bordering countries continue to work on upgrading and modernizing their pact made in 1994. NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was signed during the George W. Bush Administration in 1992 and implemented during the Clinton Administration January of 1994. The main purpose of NAFTA was to eliminate barriers to trade and facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services, and in the past 20 years it has served its purpose – Canada and Mexico remain two of the three largest trading partners to the United States of America.
All in all, NAFTA has been a success. According to Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg Trade Report, Thursday, February 6, 2014, Former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills said “NAFTA achieved broader and deeper market openings than any prior trade agreement anywhere in the world that have yielded a highly efficient and integrated supply chain in which the three economies not only sell things to one another, we make things together. She pointed out that for every dollar of goods that Canada and Mexico export to the U.S. there is 25 cents worth of U.S. inputs in the Canadian goods and 40 cents in the Mexican goods, compared to four cents with respect to China and two cents with respect to Japan.”
Even though NAFTA success and 20 years are celebrated this year, there is always room for improvement. A summit will be help on February 19, 2014 arranging the collaboration of panelists, government officials and other decision makers to discuss future enhancements to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Some of the recommendations include:
– Use the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, which include all three NAFTA partners as well as nine other nations from around the Pacific Rim, to “address issues that were not relevant when NAFTA was negotiated” or strengthen existing provisions.
– Have all three NAFTA members join the Pacific Alliance, which seeks to create free trade among its members based on existing bilateral trade accords.
– Add Canada and Mexico to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union.
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