On December 8, 1993, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton. NAFTA removed many barriers to trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. For example, a company in Mexico could ship their products through the United States, and then sell them in Canada, without any taxes or restrictions from the U.S.

NAFTA created the world's largest free trade zone, a controversial situation with positive and negative consequences. Many people say that political borders should not prevent the free flow of consumer goods—that supply and demand, not governments, should control the market. Others argue that free trade zones will result in outsourcing and offshoring—that businesses will relocate to places with fewer laws protecting workers or the environment.

controversial
Noun

questionable or leading to argument.

law
Noun

public rule.

market
Noun

central place for the sale of goods.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Noun

(1994) treaty between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that reduced tariffs and made trade easier between the countries.

outsourcing
Noun

process of moving jobs and factories to developing countries in order to lower costs.

trade
Noun

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.