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
Position du ROPPA sur la signature des APE | 13-Aug-2014
AFTINET on ISDS | 13-Aug-2014
Website reveals how US could rewrite Australian medicine, media content and data storage laws through Trans-Pacific trade deal (TPP) | 13-Aug-2014
New World Trade Order? Fighting TPP and TTIP/TAFTA | 8-Aug-2014
An urgent challenge for the BDS movement | 5-Aug-2014
TTIP: battle of the choirs | 4-Aug-2014
Obama’s TPP: Taking neo-liberalism to a new level | 1-Aug-2014
STOP-APE : un appel aux organisations de la société civile et aux élus, en Europe et en Afrique | 1-Aug-2014
Declaración de la 16° Cumbre Social del Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur) “Articulando luchas, cultivando resistencias” | 30-Jul-2014
Solicitan a Cancilleres del Mercosur suspender TLC con el estado de Israel ante crímenes de lesa humanidad | 25-Jul-2014
Des organisations togolaises dénoncent l’accord de libre échange entre l’UE et la CEDEAO | 25-Jul-2014
PANG warns against Fiji’s ratification of IEPA | 22-Jul-2014
The secret deal that threatens NHS | 19-Jul-2014