WASHINGTON POST: What is NAFTA, and what would happen to U.S. trade without it?




February 15 | 

President Trump has put the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — on notice. Canada and Mexico are gearing up to renegotiate the agreement, and Trump has stated that a failure to conclude a renegotiated deal to his liking could lead the United States to withdraw.

Here are five key things you need to know about NAFTA.

1. NAFTA involves three trade partners

NAFTA came into force between the United States, Canada and Mexico on Jan. 1, 1994. NAFTA added Mexico to a previous Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, or CUSFTA, that had been in place since 1989.

The George H.W. Bush administration had negotiated NAFTA, and Bush signed the agreement on behalf of the United States on Dec. 17, 1992. When Bush lost his reelection bid, it was up to the newly elected President Bill Clinton to ultimately add the tweaks necessary to ensure political passage through Congress in 1993.


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