The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a free trade agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico that entered into force on January 1, 1994. NAFTA includes 8 parts consisting of 22 chapters and 2 side agreements. The main text of the agreement contains provisions on tariff and nontariff barrier elimination, customs procedures, energy, agriculture, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, foreign investments, services trade, temporary entry for business persons, intellectual property rights protection (IPR), and dispute resolution procedures. Two side agreements to NAFTA contain provisions on labor and the environment, including a separate dispute settlement process. More recent U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have updated and more enforceable provisions on IPR protection, labor, and the environment, as well as new rules to address changes in economic activities that that have taken place since NAFTA entered into force, such as the widespread use of the Internet and e-commerce.
On May 18, 2017, the Trump Administration sent a 90-day notification to Congress of its intent to begin talks with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA, as required by the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Negotiations began on August 16, 2017, in Washington, DC. After eight months of negotiations, the three countries continue to negotiate and attempt to resolve several contentious issues, including rules of origin for automobiles and auto parts, dispute settlement provisions, seasonal barriers to agriculture trade, government procurement, and a proposed clause by the United States that would terminate NAFTA after five years unless the three nations agree to continue the agreement.
For more information on NAFTA and related trade issues such as TPA, please contact M. Angeles Villarreal ([email address scrubbed]), Ian Fergusson ([email address scrubbed]), or authors of the following products.
CRS Report R44981, NAFTA Renegotiation and Modernization, by M. Angeles Villarreal and Ian F. Fergusson.
CRS Report R42965, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), by M. Angeles Villarreal and Ian F. Fergusson.
CRS Report R43491, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions, by Ian F. Fergusson and Christopher M. Davis.
CRS Report R44907, NAFTA and Motor Vehicle Trade, by Bill Canis, M. Angeles Villarreal, and Vivian C. Jones
CRS Report RL34524, International Trade: Rules of Origin, by Vivian C. Jones.
CRS Report R44875, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and U.S. Agriculture, by Renée Johnson.
CRS Report R45018, Potential Effects of a U.S. NAFTA Withdrawal: Agricultural Markets, by Renée Johnson.
CRS Report R45038, Efforts to Address Seasonal Agricultural Import Competition in the NAFTA Renegotiation, by Renée Johnson.
CRS Report R44998, Renegotiating NAFTA and U.S. Textile Manufacturing, by Michaela D. Platzer.
CRS Report RL32934, U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications, by M. Angeles Villarreal.
CRS In Focus IF10047, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), by M. Angeles Villarreal.
CRS In Focus IF10038, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), by Ian F. Fergusson.
CRS In Focus IF10835, NAFTA Motor Vehicle Talks Reopen Old Trade Debate, by Bill Canis.
CRS In Focus IF10682, NAFTA Renegotiation: Issues for U.S. Agriculture, by Renée Johnson.
CRS In Focus IF10800, Agricultural Trade Balances Under NAFTA, by Renée Johnson.
CRS In Focus, CRS In Focus IF10754, Rules of Origin, by Vivian C. Jones.
CRS In Focus IF10645, Dispute Settlement in U.S. Trade Agreements, by Ian F. Fergusson.
CRS In Focus IF10770, Digital Trade, by Rachel F. Fefer.
CRS In Focus IF10046, Worker Rights Provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), by Cathleen D. Cimino-Isaacs and M. Angeles Villarreal.
CRS In Focus IF10156, U.S. Trade Policy: Background and Current Issues, by Shayerah Ilias Akhtar, Ian F. Fergusson, and Brock R. Williams.
CRS Legal Sidebar WSLG1724, Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): What Actions Do Not Require Congressional Approval?, by Brandon J. Murrill.