Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021



North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

3 min read

Implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began on January 1, 1994. This agreement will remove most barriers to trade and investment among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Under the NAFTA, all non-tariff barriers to agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico were eliminated. In addition, many tariffs were eliminated immediately, with others being phased out over periods of 5 to 15 years.  This allowed for an orderly adjustment to free trade with Mexico, with full implementation beginning January 1, 2008.

The agricultural provisions of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, in effect since 1989, were incorporated into the NAFTA. Under these provisions, all tariffs affecting agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, with a few exceptions for items covered by tariff-rate quotas, were removed by January 1, 1998.

Mexico and Canada reached a separate bilateral NAFTA agreement on market access for agricultural products. The Mexican-Canadian agreement eliminated most tariffs either immediately or over 5, 10, or 15 years. Tariffs between the two countries affecting trade in dairy, poultry, eggs, and sugar are maintained.

Recession Hitting North American Ag Trade (USDA Radio News; 08/10/09 wma, real, mp3)
NAFTA at 15: Building on Free Trade (03/31/09)
NAFTA Agricultural Fact Sheet (January 2008)
Fact Sheet: NAFTA Myth vs. Fact (03/03/08)
FAS Helps Electrify Countries in Latin America and Asia (March 27, 2008; .pdf)
NAFTA Impacts During and After Implementation (USDA Radio News; 06/22/09 wma, real, mp3)
U.S.-Mexican Officials Meet To Discuss NAFTA (01/11/08)
Statement by Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner on the Full Implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (01/02/08)
Joint Statement on 2007 NAFTA Commission Meeting (U.S. Trade Representative; 08/14/07)
Schwab Announces Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to Serve on Prestigious NAFTA Roster of Judges (U.S. Department of State; 06/04/07)
NAFTA at 13: Implementation Nears Completion (Economic Research Service; 03/27/06)
View a Benefits of NAFTA PowerPoint Presentation | Download the PowerPoint (June 2006)
Strengthening NAFTA Through U.S.–Mexican Cooperation in Agriculture (March 2007;.pdf)
NAFTA: A Strong Record of Success (March 2006)
NAFTA Myths (.pdf; May 2005)
Benefits of NAFTA (May 2005)
View a Benefits of NAFTA PowerPoint Presentation | Download the PowerPoint (May 2005)
Text of NAFTA
AgExporter Magazine, Special NAFTA Issue (01/04)

Articles in FAS Worldwide Magazine about NAFTA:

USDA’s Economic Research Service’s NAFTA resources:

U.S. Trade Representative’s NAFTA Web page

FAS Communications to Congress: The Benefits of NAFTA for U.S. Agriculture (04/20/04; View PowerPoint presentation |  Download PowerPoint Presentation)
NAFTA Agriculture Fact Sheets: Commodities and Other Topics (January 1998)

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