Publication Date



[Excerpt] The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been in effect since January 1, 1994. Signed by President George H.W. Bush on December 17, 1992, and approved by Congress on November 20, 1993, the NAFTA Implementation Act was signed into law by President William J. Clinton on December 8, 1993 (P.L. 103-182). NAFTA continues to be of interest to Congress because of the importance of Canada and Mexico as U.S. trading partners, and also because of the implications NAFTA has for U.S. trade policy. This report provides an overview of North American trade liberalization before NAFTA, an overview of NAFTA provisions, the economic effects of NAFTA, and policy considerations.


Suggested Citation
Villareal, M. A. & Fergusson, I. F. (2014). NAFTA at 20: Overview and trade effects. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

An earlier version of this report can be found here: