North American Free Trade Agreement Dictionary

Since the first negotiations, agriculture has been a controversial topic within NAFTA, as has been the case with almost all free trade agreements signed under the WTO. Agriculture was the only party that was not subject to trilateral negotiation; Three separate agreements have been signed between the two parties. The Canada-U.S. agreement provided for significant tariff restrictions and quotas for agricultural products (mainly sugar, dairy products and poultry products), while the Mexico-U.S. pact allowed for broader liberalization within a time frame (this was the first North-South free trade agreement for agriculture to be signed). [Clarification needed] But NAFTA is also very controversial. Some economists and political analysts argue that tariffs imped free market ideals by diverting resources to sectors where the United States is a less efficient and inexpensive producer. Another common argument is that NAFTA encourages companies to relocate U.S. jobs to cheaper countries, and the loss of tariffs reduces the money available for government programs. The overall effect of the agricultural agreement between Mexico and the United States is controversial. Mexico has not invested in the infrastructure needed for competition, such as efficient railways and highways. This has led to more difficult living conditions for the country`s poor. Mexico`s agricultural exports increased by 9.4% per year between 1994 and 2001, while imports increased by only 6.9% per year over the same period.

[69] On September 30, 2018, the deadline for negotiations between Canada and the United States, an interim agreement was reached between the two countries, thus retaining the trilateral pact when the Trump administration submits the agreement to Congress. [150] The new name of the agreement was the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and came into force on July 1, 2020. [151] [152] After the election of President Trump in 2016, support for NAFTA was highly polarized between Republicans and Democrats. Donald Trump has expressed a negative view of NAFTA, calling it “the worst trade deal ever adopted in this country.” [159] Republican support for NAFTA has grown from 43% in 2008 to 34% in 2017. Meanwhile, Democrats` support for NAFTA has grown from 41 percent in 2008 to 71 percent in 2017. [160] One of the most affected agricultural sectors was the meat industry. In 2004, Mexico moved from a small player in the U.S. export market to the second largest importer of U.S.

agricultural products, and NAFTA may have been an important catalyst for this change. Free trade has removed barriers to business between the two countries, allowing Mexico to offer a growing meat market in the United States and increase sales and profits for the meat industry in the United States. A simultaneous and dramatic increase in Mexican GDP per capita has significantly changed meat consumption patterns due to increased per capita meat consumption. [70] A fourth round of talks included a U.S. request for a sunset clause that would terminate the agreement in five years unless the three countries agreed to maintain it, a provision that would allow U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to terminate the agreement if it did not work. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the House Ways and Means Committee because Congress would have to pass legislation that re-releases the treaty provisions if Trump tries to pull out of the pact. [136] A subsidiary agreement reached in August 1993 on the application of existing domestic labour law, the North American Convention on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) [39], was severely restricted. With regard to health and safety standards and child labour law, it excluded collective bargaining issues, and its “control teeth” were only accessible at the end of a “long and painful” dispute. [40] The obligations to enforce existing labour law have also raised questions of democratic practice.

[37] The Canadian anti-NAFTA pro-Canada Network coalition suggested that guarantees of minimum standards in the absence of “extensive democratic reforms in the