Additional ancillary agreements have been adopted to allay concerns about the potential impact of the treaty on the labour market and the environment. Critics feared that U.S. and Canadian companies in Mexico would have generally low wages, which would lead to a shift of production to Mexico and a rapid reduction in manufacturing employment in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, environmentalists were concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of rapid industrialization in Mexico, which does not have experience in implementing and enforcing environmental legislation. Possible environmental problems were raised in the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement (NAAEC), which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994. The free trade agreement was concluded in 1988 and NAFTA extended most of the provisions of the free trade agreement to Mexico. NAFTA was negotiated by the governments of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican Prime Minister Carlos Salinas de Gortari. An interim agreement on the pact was reached in August 1992 and signed by the three heads of state and government on 17 December. NAFTA was ratified by the national parliaments of the three countries in 1993 and came into force on January 1, 1994. The main provisions of NAFTA required a gradual reduction in tariffs, tariffs and other trade barriers between the three Member States, with some tariffs to be abolished immediately and others over a 15-year period. The agreement guaranteed duty-free access for a wide range of industrial products and goods traded between the signatories.
“Domestic goods” have been granted to products imported from other NAFTA countries and prohibit all governments, local or provincial, from imposing taxes or tariffs on these products. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was inspired by the success of the European Economic Community (1957-1993) in removing tariffs to stimulate trade among its members. Supporters argued that the creation of a free trade area in North America would bring prosperity through increased trade and production, resulting in the creation of millions of well-paying jobs in all participating countries. The economic growth that followed NAFTA was not impressive in any of the countries involved. The United States and Canada have suffered greatly from several economic recessions, including the Great Recession of 2007-09, which overshadowed all the positive effects that NAFTA could have had. Mexico`s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a slower pace compared to other Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile, and its per-person income growth was not significant, although there was an expansion of the middle class in the years following NAFTA. Although NAFTA has not kept all its promises, it has remained in place. Indeed, in 2004, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) extended NAFTA to five Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua). In the same year, the Dominican Republic joined the group in signing a free trade agreement with the United States, followed by Colombia in 2006, Peru in 2007 and Panama in 2011.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed on October 5, 2015, represented an extension of NAFTA to a much larger extent. Many critics of NAFTA saw the agreement as a radical experiment developed by influential multinationals who wanted to increase their profits at the expense of ordinary citizens of the countries concerned.