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Archived - January 1 Marks 20th Anniversary of North American Free Trade Agreement

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Historic agreement placed Canada, Mexico and the United States at the forefront of trade liberalization

January 1, 2014 - Ottawa - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today marked the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexico’s President Carlos Salinas and U.S. President George H.W. Bush, NAFTA came into effect on January 1, 1994, creating the largest free trade region in the world.

Since then, the North American economy has more than doubled, and productivity in Canada has increased 14 percent, bringing economic growth to the three NAFTA partners and raising the quality of life of their citizens. NAFTA has provided a solid foundation for Canada’s future prosperity.

Quick Facts

  • Since NAFTA came into force in 1994, Canada’s annual GDP has risen by nearly $1.2 trillion, 4.7 million jobs have been created in Canada, and the country’s trilateral trade in goods with the United States and Mexico has more than tripled.
  • In 1993, trilateral trade within the North American region was US$289 billion. In 2012, total trilateral merchandise trade reached nearly US$1.1 trillion—a nearly fourfold increase.
  • Over 8 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada, and over 2 million Canadian jobs—one in seven—depend on trade with the United States.
  • Canada is the top export destination for 38 U.S. states.
  • Approximately $1.8 billion in goods and services cross the border every day—$1.2 million every minute.
  • Canada is the largest supplier of oil, nuclear fuel, electricity and natural gas to the United States.


“Building on this success, our government is moving forward with the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history, which includes a comprehensive, next-generation trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement is even broader in scope and more ambitious than NAFTA and will generate benefits in key economic sectors covering every region of Canada.”

- Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

Related Products

Backgrounder: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Associated Links

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Doing Business in the NAFTA Region

NAFTA: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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