December
8, 1993. Bill Clinton’s signature makes NAFTA law. The agreement comes into
affect three weeks later, on January 1, 1994. (https://ustr.gov/)  Since then, NAFTA’s impacts have made massive
change to Canada. There were many impacts, but some of the most relevant are
Canada being on an equal playing field with the other big North American
nations, the continues shift in Canada’s culture, and the large economic growth.
Due to these impacts that have shaped and changed Canada, it’s important to
remember NAFTA throughout the future, and a memorial would be the best way to
do so.

The
North American Free Trade Agreement is a multilateral trade agreement between
Mexico America and Canada made to dissolve trade barriers between the nations,
allowing each nations businesses and economies to take advantage of what each
other offered. (http://www.naftanow.org/ ) An important part about this trade
agreement is that it is multilateral, and not bilateral. What this means is
that there are more than two countries involved. A bilateral trade agreement is
more of a trade partnership between nations, meaning multilateral agreements are
much larger. NAFTA is one of the world’s largest free trade zones, and allows Mexico,
the USA, and Canada to operate more like a single country. (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca)This
gave Canada much more power and made it more attractive to businesses as apart
of this free trade zone.

 

NAFTA
did have some concerns, however. A result of having a relationship such as the
one Canada has America is the more powerful country having a major cultural
influence on the other country. So when Canada’s main trade partner became
America, Canadian culture became more American. (The World of Business, Fifth
Edition) While Canada does benefit from having a trading partner like America,
and NAFTA did allow Canada to gain more access to American markets, America did
as a result gain more access to Canada’s and fill Canada with even more of its
goods and services. American influence on Canada has been around for a long
time, but NAFTA made it even easier for Canada to be influenced by American
culture. As a result, NAFTA has been a large part of Canada’s cultural change.

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Cultural
influence concerns and equal playing field involving Canada. These are two
major impacts of NAFTA. However, arguably the biggest impact of them all, the
one the treaty was made to create, is economic growth. The whole point of
dissolving trade barriers and create free trade zone between the three
countries was so each country could benefit off each other more easily. Within
nine years of NAFTA being made law Canada experienced economic growth of 30.9%,
and trade with the USA to be increased 250%. By 2015, total merchandise trade
made had increased more than three times, summing up to greater than $1
trillion USD. This has benefited Canada greatly. (The World of Business, Fifth
Edition)

In
the twenty-four years since NAFTA was made law, Canada has changed. Our economy
has grown, as well as Mexico’s and America’s. NAFTA has helped these countries
work together to make each of them bigger. However, NAFTA also embodies many concerns
of what was happening at the time and still to this day, like low wage
exploitation and culture influence.  Due
to the impacts that have shaped and changed Canada, it’s important to remember
NAFTA throughout the future, and a memorial would be the best way to do so.

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