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North American Free Trade Agreement In December of 1992 President Salinas of the Government of the United Mexican States President Bush of the Government of the United States of America and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of the Government of Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA however it was not ratified and fully effective until 1 January 1994 NAFTA which established a free trade area among the aforementioned nations consistent with the previously instituted General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT eliminates tariffs on goods produced by the signatory nations by 2005 removes most barriers to cross-border investment and to the movement of goods and services and improves intellectual property protection The specific objectives contained in NAFTA are as follows a eliminate barriers to trade in and facilitate the cross border movement of goods and services between the territories of the Parties b promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area c increase substantially investment opportunities in their territories d provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in each Partys territory e create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this Agreement and for its joint administration and the resolution of disputes and f establish a framework for further trilateral regional and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement Proponents of NAFTA claim that the accord will increase trade throughout the Americas moderate product prices and create new jobs in all three countries Critics claim just as adamantly that the proposed accord will degrade blue-collar employment wages and environmental standards throughout North America Moreover they claim that jobs will move to Mexico due in part to the wide disparity in labor market regulations and wages existing between the United States Canada and Mexico In addition to worker displacement the prospect of environmental problems stemming from Mexicos lax enforcement of environmental standards has led critics to disagree with the institution of the NAFTA
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