North American Free Trade Agreement:

A Focus on the Substantive Issues

T-GGD-93-44: Published: Sep 21, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1993.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed major issues associated with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). GAO noted that: (1) NAFTA will reduce barriers to North American trade and investment such as tariffs, import licensing, and customs user fees; (2) under NAFTA, investors will gain nondiscriminatory treatment, freedom from performance requirements, free transfer of investment-related funds, expropriation based on international law, and international arbitration for NAFTA violations; (3) NAFTA has special provisions for sensitive economic sectors such as agriculture, automotive products, energy, and textiles and apparel; (4) NAFTA implementation mechanisms provide for dispute resolution, intellectual property rights protection, and temporary import protection when a domestic industry is threatened; (5) NAFTA impacts nontrade issues such as environmental protection, labor rights, wages, health and safety standards, and free movement of labor; (6) potential economic impacts include limited net gains in U.S. and Canadian economies, a large gain in the Mexican economy, uneven net employment gains, job dislocations among low-skilled workers, and the redirection of economic resources to more efficient and productive sectors; (7) Congress needs to expand and improve dislocated workers assistance programs; and (8) rejection of NAFTA could lead to adverse effects on U.S.-Mexican trade, illegal Mexican immigration, and Mexican financial markets.

Oct 19, 2017

Oct 12, 2017

Oct 4, 2017

Sep 28, 2017

Sep 19, 2017

Sep 13, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

  • international icon: Art Explosion

    Diplomatic Security:

    Key Oversight Issues
    GAO-17-681SP: Published: Sep 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2017.

Sep 5, 2017

Aug 29, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here