Today in 1993 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton creating one of the largest free-trade zones in the world. NAFTA is a three-country accord between the U.S., Mexico and Canada that went into effect on January 1, 1994.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, “U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico support more than three million American jobs and U.S. trade with NAFTA partners has unlocked opportunity for millions of Americans by supporting Made-in-America jobs and exports.” “As the U.S.’ two largest export markets, Canada and Mexico buy more Made-in-America goods and services than any other countries in the world.”
The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate tariffs making prices of exported and imported products significantly less increasing the flow of goods and services across borders that would improve the average standard of living of people on both sides of the borders. Today, approximately $1.4 billion in goods cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day, according to CNN.
President-elect Donald Trump has stated “NAFTA was the worse trade deal the U.S. ever signed.” The current critics of NAFTA claim many U.S. businesses have moved jobs down south since NAFTA’s birth. The truth is at its birth NAFTA was widely supported and actually endorsed by more Republicans than Democrats. NAFTA’s signing ceremony was held in the White House and attended by former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush as well many congressional leaders of both parties.
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