Publication Date



[Excerpt] The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been in effect since January 1, 1994. NAFTA was 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 trading partners, and because of the implications NAFTA has for U.S. trade policy under the Administration of President Donald J. Trump. During his election campaign, President Trump stated his desire to renegotiate NAFTA and that he would examine the ramifications of withdrawing from the agreement once he entered into office. He has also raised the possibility of imposing tariffs or a border tax on products from Mexico. This report provides an overview of North American market-opening provisions prior to NAFTA, provisions of the agreement, economic effects, and policy considerations.


Suggested Citation
Villareal, M. A., & Fergusson, I. F. (2017). The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (CRS Report R42965). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service.

A previous version of this report can be found here: