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In the past decade the worlds business practices have become increasingly globalized A main reason for this is increased free trade between nations Members of the industrialized world have joined trade alliances with others in close proximity to them One of the most important and controversial of these alliances is the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA consisting of Canada the United States and Mexico and NAFTA quickly became a major force in the global economy Negotiations for the agreement began in 1993 when the Canada United States Trade Agreement CUSTA a trade alliance between Canada and the United States that had been established since 1989 began negotiations with the Mexican government to create a new three- nation alliance NAFTA was launched on January 1 1994 with goals to eliminate all industrial tariffs in ten years and all agricultural tariffs in fifteen years On January 1 1998 all tariffs between Canada and the United States were lifted and several Mexican tariffs were also eliminated All industrial tariffs are to be lifted by January 1 2004 and all agricultural tariffs by January 1 2008 By the time all of these have taken place the agreement will almost certainly include at least these eight other nations in the western hemisphere Brazil Panama Uruguay Argentina Peru Venezuela Chile and Columbia Ministerial meetings for the Free Trade of the Americas FTAA have taken place in the United States 1995 Columbia 1996 Brazil 1997 Costa Rica 1998 Canada 1999 and Argentina 2001 The first ever Summit of the Americas took place in Miami USA in December of 1994 with later summits taking place in Santiago Chile in April of 1998 and Quebec City Canada in April of 2001 The advancements made towards accomplishing the goal of cross-hemispherical trade during these meetings made this agreement inevitable Supporters of NAFTA when it was passed had very high goals and expectations for the new trade pact The following is an official list of
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