The kick-off of a North American free trade area began with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the governments of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate nafta. Both submitted the agreement for ratification in their respective capitals in December 1992, but NAFTA faced considerable opposition in both the United States and Canada. The three countries ratified NAFTA in 1993 following the addition of two related agreements, the North American Worker Cooperation Agreement (NAALC) and the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement (NAAEC). After diplomatic negotiations in 1990, the heads of state and government of the three nations signed the agreement on 17 December 1992 in their respective capitals. [17] The signed agreement had to be ratified by each country`s legislative or parliamentary department. But the most important aspect for Canada – opening up its economy to the United States, by far Canada`s largest trading partner – was before NAFTA, when the Canadian United States came into force in 1989.

Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA). Total Canada-U.S. Trade rose rapidly in the wake of trade liberalization in Canada. After NAFTA, Canadian exports to the United States increased from [PDF] $110 billion to $346 billion; Imports from the United States increased almost as sharply. At a 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC leaders adopted the Bogor goals of free and open trade and investment in Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized countries and by 2020 for developing countries. In 1995, APEC established a business council, called the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), made up of three leaders from each member economy. Since NAFTA was adopted, U.S. trade interests have often expressed very satisfaction with the agreement. Trade has grown strongly between the three NAFTA nations, but this increase in trade activity has led to growing trade deficits for both the United States with Canada and Mexico-;d the United States imports more from Mexico and Canada than it exports to these trading partners. Critics of the agreement argue that NAFTA is at least partly responsible for these trade deficits and the striking job losses in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade. But before NAFTA, manufacturing jobs were starting to shrink.

The NAFTA debate continues. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration`s goal was to „stop the haemorrhages“ of trade deficits, plant closures and job losses, pushing for tougher labor and environmental measures in Mexico and removing „Chapter 19 of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism“ – a Canadian favorite and a thorn in the side of the United States.