The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been setting the rules of commerce between the US, Mexico and Canada since 1994.
It covers issues like food safety, intellectual property rights and dispute settlements, and since it was signed, trade between the three countries more than tripled.
However, US President Donald Trump calls it “the worst trade deal in history”, blaming it for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US.
He has initiated talks to rewrite those rules which govern a quarter of the global economy. Trump wants to reduce the country’s large trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico exports goods to the US worth nearly $63bn more than it imports.
He pushes for a better balance of trade with Canada by calling for greater access for US dairy products. And he wants to take on the auto industry, and force companies to use more US-manufactured components – a move car companies say will make them less able to compete internationally.
Trump wants to complete the NAFTA talks by 2018, before elections in Mexico and midterms in the US.
So what’s next for NAFTA and what are the implications for Mexico, Canada and the US?
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