NAFTA

NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — is a comprehensive, groundbreaking free trade and investment agreement which took effect on 1 January 1994, involving the governments of Canada, Mexico and the USA.

It is an expansion of the 1989 Canada-US Trade Agreement (CUSTA) and is seen as a landmark in setting higher standards in a range of areas, including agriculture, investment, intellectual property, and services.

NAFTA, dubbed a “death sentence” for Mexico’s campesinos and Indigenous Peoples, has led to strong and sustained resistance from a broad spectrum of Mexico’s population. It was one of the catalysts for the Zapatista uprising. Since it came into effect, cheap, subsidized US corn has flooded the market, sold at prices below the cost of production, with which campesinos cannot compete. This has led to massive displacement, poverty, and hunger.

NAFTA disputes - in which an investor from one signatory country can sue the government of another signatory country for actions or omissions which it claims to interfere with its right to make a profit - have raised concerns about the way in which the agreement furthers the interests of transnational corporations, and limits the capacity of governments to regulate the economy for social, environmental or other reasons.

On 1 January 2008, the last agricultural tariffs were eliminated under NAFTA and small farm organizations in Mexico declared “all-out war” on the trade agreement, arguing that the country’s food sovereignty and security are in peril. Massive peasant demonstrations against NAFTA were held throughout Mexico in early 2008.

NAFTA was a key focus of the US 2008 presidential campaign debates, with Barack Obama calling for its renegotiation. However, the call has not been acted upon under his administration.

last update: May 2012


Read more

Read less


    Links

  • NAFTA Secretariat
  • Partenariat nord-américain pour la sécurité et la prospérité (PSP)
    Bilingual activist website on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)
  • Replace NAFTA
    Negotiated behind closed doors with hundreds of corporate advisors, NAFTA has caused mass job loss and pushed down wages nationwide.
  • Sin maiz, no hay pais
    Campaña Nacional en defensa de la Soberanía Alimentaria y la reactivación del Campo mexicano
  • Stop the SPP! Arrêter le PSP!
    The Outaouais Ottawa Stop SPP coalition consists of individuals and groups who have come together to mobilize for the Bush-Harper-Calderon meeting in Montebello, Quebec on August 18-21, 2007.
  • Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos (TPP) México
    El TPP México tiene como finalidad visibilizar la situación de violencia estructural imperante vivida en México a raíz de la firma de numerosos tratados del libre comercio, e intentar desnudar los mecanismos de simulación y desvío de poder que sistemáticamente ejerce el Estado mexicano para mantener en pie dicha política económica.