North American Free Trade Area
North American Free Trade Area: Travel tips, articles, photos, gallery, cities database, population, pics, flags, statistics, free maps online
The North American Free Trade Agreement is the trade bloc in North America created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its two supplements, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), whose members are Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It came into effect on 1 January 1994.
The North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA eliminated the majority of tariffs between products traded among the United States, Canada and Mexico, and gradually phased out other tariffs over a 15-year period. Restrictions were to be removed from many categories, including motor vehicles, computers, textiles, and agriculture. The treaty also protected intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights, and trademarks), and outlined the removal of investment restrictions among the three countries. The agreement is trilateral in nature (that is, the stipulations apply equally to all three countries) in all areas except agriculture, in which stipulation, tariff reduction phase-out periods and protection of selected industries, were negotiated bilaterally. Provisions regarding worker and environmental protection were added later as a result of supplemental agreements signed in 1993.
This agreement was an expansion of the earlier Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1988. Unlike the European Union, NAFTA does not create a set of supranational governmental bodies, nor does it create a body of law superior to national law. NAFTA is a treaty under international law. Under United States law it is classed as a congressional-executive agreement rather than a treaty, reflecting a peculiar sense of the term "treaty" in United States constitutional law that is not followed by international law or the laws of other nations.