NAFTA has boosted Mexican agricultural exports to the United States, which have tripled since the pact was implemented. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the automotive industry have also been created in the country and most studies [PDF] have found that the agreement has increased productivity and reduced consumer prices in Mexico. Neither the worst fears of Canadian trade opponents – that open trade would erode the country`s manufacturing sector – nor the highest hopes of NAFTA proponents – that this would lead to a rapid increase in productivity – have been realized. Employment in Canada`s manufacturing sector has remained stable, but the productivity gap between the Canadian and U.S. economies has not been closed: until 2017, Canada`s labour productivity remained at 72% of the U.S. level. 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). In October 2017, in The Globe and Mail in Toronto, an op-ed questioned the U.S. willingness to renegotiate the agreement or whether it planned to do so, no matter what, and noted that the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador, Kelly Knight Craft, is married to the owner of Alliance Resource Partners, a major U.S. coal company. Canada is implementing a carbon plan, and it is also about selling bomber jets. “Americans used so many poison pills in last week`s conversations in Washington that they should have been charged with murder,” columnist John Ibbitson wrote. [134] The United States had already concluded a free trade agreement with Canada in 1988, but the addition of a less developed country such as Mexico was unprecedented.