KC Johnson

History 30.8: Nov. 10 & 12

November 10: Democracy, Trade, and Globalization

map–U.S. aid to Latin America, late 1990s  USMPiLAaC

Text of NAFTA agreement–U.S., Canada, Mexico

North American Free Trade Agreement


The Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America, resolved to:

  • STRENGTHEN the special bonds of friendship and cooperation among their nations;
  • CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader international cooperation;
  • CREATE an expanded and secure market for the goods and services produced in their territories;
  • REDUCE distortions to trade;
  • ESTABLISH clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade;
  • ENSURE a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment;
  • BUILD on their respective rights and obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of cooperation;
  • ENHANCE the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;
  • FOSTER creativity and innovation, and promote trade in goods and services that are the subject of intellectual property rights;
  • CREATE new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living standards in their respective territories;
  • UNDERTAKE each of the preceding in a manner consistent with environmental protection and conservation;
  • PRESERVE their flexibility to safeguard the public welfare;
  • PROMOTE sustainable development;
  • STRENGTHEN the development and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations; and
  • PROTECT, enhance and enforce basic workers’ rights;

HAVE AGREED as follows:


Chapter One: Objectives

Article 101: Establishment of the Free Trade Area

The Parties to this Agreement, consistent with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, hereby establish a free trade area.

Article 102: Objectives

    1. a) eliminate barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of, goods and services between the territories of the Parties;

      b) promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;

      c) increase substantially investment opportunities in the territories of the Parties;

      d) provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in each Party’s territory;

      e) create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this Agreement, for its joint administration and for the resolution of disputes; and

      f) establish a framework for further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement.

  1. 1. The objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles and rules, including national treatment, most-favored-nation treatment and transparency, are to:

    2. The Parties shall interpret and apply the provisions of this Agreement in the light of its objectives set out in paragraph 1 and in accordance with applicable rules of international law.

Article 103: Relation to Other Agreements

    1. The Parties affirm their existing rights and obligations with respect to each other under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other agreements to which such Parties are party.

    2. In the event of any inconsistency between this Agreement and such other agreements, this Agreement shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency, except as otherwise provided in this Agreement.

Article 104: Relation to Environmental and Conservation Agreements

    1. a) the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, done at Washington, March 3, 1973, as amended June 22, 1979,

      b) the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, done at Montreal, September 16, 1987, as amended June 29, 1990,

      c) the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, done at Basel, March 22, 1989, on its entry into force for Canada, Mexico and the United States, or

      d) the agreements set out in Annex 104.1,

  1. 1. In the event of any inconsistency between this Agreement and the specific trade obligations set out in:

    such obligations shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency, provided that where a Party has a choice among equally effective and reasonably available means of complying with such obligations, the Party chooses the alternative that is the least inconsistent with the other provisions of this Agreement.

    2. The Parties may agree in writing to modify Annex 104.1 to include any amendment to an agreement referred to in paragraph 1, and any other environmental or conservation agreement.

Article 105: Extent of Obligations

The Parties shall ensure that all necessary measures are taken in order to give effect to the provisions of this Agreement, including their observance, except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, by state and provincial governments.

November 12: Western Hemisphere Affairs in the Bush Years

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