Us Free Trade Agreements Wiki
The Liberal Party of Canada had traditionally supported free trade.  Free trade in natural products was a central theme in the 1911 Canadian Legislative Elections. The Conservative Party campaigned with anti-American rhetoric, and the Liberals lost the election. The issue of free trade has not returned to this level of national importance in Canada for many decades. Starting with the Theodore Roosevelt government, the United States has become an important player in international trade, particularly with its neighboring territories in the Caribbean and Latin America. Today, the United States has become a leader in the free trade movement and supports groups such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (later the World Trade Organization). [Citation required] The phenomenon of “cross-border shopping,” in which Canadians would take day trips to U.S. border towns to use duty-free goods and a high Canadian dollar, caused a mini-boom for these cities. The loss of many Canadian jobs, particularly in Ontario`s manufacturing industry during the recession of the early 1990s, was attributed (fairly or not) to the free trade agreement. From 1935 to 1980, the two nations concluded a series of bilateral trade agreements that sharply reduced tariffs in both countries.  The most important of these agreements was the 1960s automotive trade agreement (also known as the auto pact).   In 2008, Canadian exports to the United States and Mexico totaled $381.3 billion and imports were $245.1 billion.  According to a 2004 paper by University of Toronto economist Daniel Trefler, NAFTA provided Canada with a significant net benefit in 2003, with long-term productivity increasing by up to 15 per cent in the sectors that experienced the largest tariff reductions.
 While the decline in low-productivity jobs has reduced employment (up to 12 per cent of existing jobs), these job losses have lasted less than a decade; Overall, unemployment has declined in Canada since the legislation was passed. Trefler commented on the compromise, saying that the crucial trade policy issue was “how free trade can be implemented in an industrialized economy so that the long-term benefits and short-term adjustment costs borne by workers and others are recognized.”  The kick-off of a North American free trade area began with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the governments of U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate nafta. Both submitted the agreement for ratification in their respective capitals in December 1992, but NAFTA faced considerable opposition in both the United States and Canada.