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NAFTA - Canada’s & Mexico’s Viewpoints

When the Canada/U.S. free trade agreement came into effect, the Mexican’s were very impressed by the provision and opportunities that opened for both sides. Mexico then approached the U.S., seeking to form a similar agreement with them. This brought forth a new issue in Canada, should they let Mexico and the U.S. form an agreement without them? Or should they participate, thus transforming their deal with the U.S. into a trilateral agreement including Mexico.

On June 12, 1991, the trade ministers of Canada, the United States and Mexico met in Toronto to open negotiations for a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This was an historic occasion. For the first time ever, a developing country agreed to sit down with two industrial countries to craft an agreement that would open its economy to full competition with the other two countries. If successful, the agreement promised to make the whole North American continent into one economic zone and set an important precedent for trade and economic cooperation between the wealthy countries of the North and less developed countries of the South. The challenge before them was both exciting and daunting.

A little more than a year later, the three trade ministers met again in Washington, to put the finishing touches on a new North American Free Trade Agreement. In just over a year the negotiators from the three countries had successfully met the challenge and put together a new trading frame work for North America. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was set to be implied.

The North American Free Trade Agreement often raises questions regarding the new economic trading blocs around the world. The twelve-nation European Community (EC), a Central American free trade zone, and a four-nation South American group, as well as preliminary discussions regarding an Asian trading bloc, all point to the fact that new economic realities already exist. NAFTA promises to have a major impact on the people in all three nations. There will obviously be short-term costs of adjustment, which will certainly hit some industries, regions, and workers harder than others. There will be definite winners in the agreement, and definite losers in the agreement. There even might be disputes. Whether as workers, investors, consumers, or ordinary citizens in all three countries they may be affected. The final verdict on the North American Free Trade Agreement, may in fact not fully be realized for many weeks, months, or even years. However, in the following essay, the advantages to both Mexico and Canada will be analyzed, as well as the disadvantages to Mexico. It is safe to say that the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages, and that it will in fact be beneficial for both countries to be involved in this unique deal.

Benefits to Canada

Canada’s goals in the negotiation of NAFTA were very simple. They wanted to improve their access for their goods and services to Mexico and the United States. Canada wanted to guarantee their position as a prime location for investors seeking to serve all of North America. The NAFTA deal has realized these objectives set by Canada and will supply Canada with a new and sharper edge to their international competitiveness. The agreement has set a path for Canada widening their trade horizons, while also giving them a bigger stage on which to demonstrate their economic expertise and leadership.

An advantage for Canada is that the reduction of Mexican barriers will provide new markets and opportunities for Canadian goods and services. Canadian firms will be able to participate in, and expand sales in, sectors that were previously highly restricted, such as autos, financial services, trucking, energy and fisheries. Mexican tariffs and import licensing requirements will be eliminated, some immediately and others over 5 to 10 years, providing barrier free access to 85 million consumers.

The North American Free Trade Agreement covers virtually every field of business in Canada. NAFTA provides many provisions as well as both real and potential advantages to Canadians in all most all places in the work place.

Agriculture products play a significant role in Canada’s exports to other countries. Canada’s excellent and fertile farming land has produced many great results. A very superior livestock and excellent crops have contributed to a productive and