Executive Summary

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was established in January 1994 to eliminate barriers to trade and facilitate increased flow of goods and services among its member countries – Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Today, the NAFTA bloc has a total population of about 478.1 million and a combined GDP of more than $20 trillion. Trade among member countries represents 30.23% of total world flows.

NAFTA’s final clauses were implemented in 2008 and while relative merits continue to be debated, NAFTA has been highly influential in shaping subsequent Free Trade Agreements and affecting the trading patterns of member countries. NAFTA also reached beyond just trade in goods to pioneer measures in respect of intellectual property, foreign investment, dispute resolution and government procurement. It has also helped to facilitate a surge in trading volumes between member countries, and contributed to the creation of regional value chains across North America.

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