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In 1994, NAFTA was a state-of-the-art market-opening agreement that paved the way for the creation of high-paying export-related jobs and strong economic growth throughout North America.

North American Free Trade Agreement

NAFTA Partners:

Canada and the United States implemented a free trade pact in 1989. In 1994, NAFTA broadened the free trade area to include Mexico.

NAFTA Economy: Today NAFTA covers a North American economy with a combined output of US$17.0 trillion.

NAFTA Population: The NAFTA region is home to 444.1 million people, 33.3 million of whom live in Canada, 304.1 million in the United States, and 106.7 million in Mexico.

NAFTA Languages: English, Spanish, and French are languages widely spoken in the NAFTA countries. However, many other languages are spoken across the continent.

Canada: One in five jobs in Canada is in part linked to international trade, and Canada’s prosperity is built on its openness to international trade and investment. As such, the North American continental partnership is without a doubt an important competitive advantage for Canada. Canada is using this continental platform as a way to help Canadian business embrace commercial opportunities around the world.

The United States: The largest and most diversified economy in the world, the United States is a market economy whose businesses are world leaders in the manufacturing and high-tech sectors, especially computers, medical equipment, and aerospace, and in services, including financial services and telecommunications, and in agriculture.

Mexico: Trade liberalization has transformed and modernized Mexico’s vibrant economy by successfully boosting trade and investment flows. Within just a few years, Mexico’s exports have diversified from primarily oil to include an array of manufactured products, making Mexico one of the largest exporters in the world.

NAFTA at a Glance
NAFTA Partners Canada U.S. Mexico Combined
Population (July 2008 est.) 33.3 million 304.1 million 106.7 million 444.1 million
Languages English and French English Spanish  
Gross Domestic Product, 2008 (Current prices, US$) 1,501 billion 14,441 billion 1,087 billion 17.0 trillion
Trade with NAFTA Partners, 2008 (Current prices, US$) 570.8 billion 919.9 billion 393.5 billion 946.1 billion
Inward Foreign Direct Investment Among NAFTA Countries, 2008 (US$) 240.0 billion 229.8 billion 156.0 billion --- 1
Jobs Created 1993-2008 (millions) 4.3 25.1 9.3 39.7
National Employment Level, 2008 (millions) 17.1 145.4 43.2 205.7

Sources: Statistics Canada - Canada; Department of Commerce and Bureau of Labour Statistics – United States; Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI) and Dirección General de Inversión Extranjera de Secretaría de Economía (DGIE-SE)– Mexico.

1 Mexican data is the sum of flow data accumulated between 1993 and 2008; and U.S. and Canadian data are the sum of stock data.

Note: Data subject to revision by official sources.