image displayed if flash reader not installed
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
This free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States was negotiated in 1991-1992, modified and approved in 1993, and entered into force in 1994.

 

 

 

See also the NAFTA Table of Contents, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation, and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

 

 

 


PREAMBLE

The Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America, resolved to:

STRENGTHEN the special bonds of friendship and cooperation among their nations;

CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader international cooperation;

CREATE an expanded and secure market for to the goods and services produced in their territories;

REDUCE distortions to trade;

ESTABLISH clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade;

ENSURE a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment;

BUILD on their respective rights and obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of cooperation;

ENHANCE the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;

FOSTER creativity and innovation, and promote trade in goods and services that are the subject of intellectual property rights;

CREATE new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living standards in their respective territories;

UNDERTAKE each of the preceding in a manner consistent with environmental protection and conservation;

PRESERVE their flexibility to safeguard the public welfare;

PROMOTE sustainable development;

STRENGTHEN the development and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations; and

PROTECT, enhance and enforce basic workers’ rights;

HAVE AGREED as follows:


PART ONE

GENERAL PART

 

Chapter One

Objectives

 

Article 101: Establishment of the Free Trade Area

 The Parties to this Agreement, consistent with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, hereby establish a free trade area.

 

Article 102: Objectives

1. The objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles and rules, including national treatment, most-favored-nation treatment and transparency, are to:

 

(a) eliminate barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of, goods and services between the territories of the Parties;

(b) promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;

(c) increase substantially investment opportunities in the territories of the Parties;

(d) provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in each Party’s territory;

(e) create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this Agreement, for its joint administration and for the resolution of disputes; and

(f) establish a framework for further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement.

2. The Parties shall interpret and apply the provisions of this Agreement in the light of its objectives set out in paragraph 1 and in accordance with applicable rules of international law.

 

Article 103: Relation to Other Agreements

1. The Parties affirm their existing rights and obligations with respect to each other under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other agreements to which such Parties are party.

2. In the event of any inconsistency between this Agreement and such other agreements, this Agreement shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency, except as otherwise provided in this Agreement.

 

Article 104: Relation to Environmental and Conservation Agreements

1. In the event of any inconsistency between this Agreement and the specific trade obligations set out in:

(a) the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, done at Washington, March 3, 1973, as amended June 22, 1979,

(b) the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, done at Montreal, September 16, 1987, as amended June 29, 1990,

(c) the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, done at Basel, March 22, 1989, on its entry into force for Canada, Mexico and the United States, or

(d) the agreements set out in Annex 104.1,

such obligations shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency, provided that where a Party has a choice among equally effective and reasonably available means of complying with such obligations, the Party chooses the alternative that is the least inconsistent with the other provisions of this Agreement.

2. The Parties may agree in writing to modify Annex 104.1 to include any amendment to an agreement referred to in paragraph 1, and any other environmental or conservation agreement.


Article 105: Extent of Obligations

 The Parties shall ensure that all necessary measures are taken in order to give effect to the provisions of this Agreement, including their observance, except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, by state and provincial governments.

 

Annex 104.1

Bilateral and Other Environmental and Conservation Agreements

1. The Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America Concerning the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, signed at Ottawa, October 28, 1986.

2. The Agreement Between the United States of America and the United Mexican States on Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment in the Border Area, signed at La Paz, Baja California Sur, August 14, 1983.

 

 

Chapter Two

General Definitions

 

Article 201: Definitions of General Application

1. For purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified:

Commission means the Free Trade Commission established under Article 2001(1) (The Free Trade Commission);

Customs Valuation Code means the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, including its interpretative notes;

days means calendar days, including weekends and holidays;

enterprise means any entity constituted or organized under applicable law, whether or not for profit, and whether privately-owned or governmentally-owned, including any corporation, trust, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture or other association;

enterprise of a Party means an enterprise constituted or organized under the law of a Party;

existing means in effect on the date of entry into force of this Agreement;

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles means the recognized consensus or substantial authoritative support in the territory of a Party with respect to the recording of revenues, expenses, costs, assets and liabilities, disclosure of information and preparation of financial statements. These standards may be broad guidelines of general application as well as detailed standards, practices and procedures;

goods of a Party means domestic products as these are understood in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or such goods as the Parties may agree, and includes originating goods of that Party;

Harmonized System (HS) means the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, and its legal notes and rules, as adopted and implemented by the Parties in their respective tariff laws;

measure includes any law, regulation, procedure, requirement or practice;

national means a natural person who is a citizen or permanent resident of a Party and any other natural person referred to in Annex 201.1;

originating means qualifying under the rules of origin set out in Chapter Four (Rules of Origin);

person means a natural person or an enterprise;

person of a Party means a national, or an enterprise of a Party;

Secretariat means the Secretariat established under Article 2002(1) (The Secretariat);

state enterprise means an enterprise that is owned, or controlled through ownership interests, by a Party; and

territory means for a Party the territory of that Party as set out in Annex 201.1.

2. For purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified, a reference to a state or province includes local governments of that state or province.

 

Annex 201.1

Country-Specific Definitions

For purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified:

national also includes:

(a) with respect to Mexico, a national or a citizen according to Articles 30 and 34, respectively, of the Mexican Constitution; and

(b) with respect to the United States, “national of the United States” as defined in the existing provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

territory means:

(a) with respect to Canada, the territory to which its customs laws apply, including any areas beyond the territorial seas of Canada within which, in accordance with international law and its domestic law, Canada may exercise rights with respect to the seabed and subsoil and their natural resources;

(b) with respect to Mexico,

(i) the states of the Federation and the Federal District,

(ii) the islands, including the reefs and keys, in adjacent seas,

(iii) the islands of Guadalupe and Revillagigedo situated in the Pacific Ocean,

(iv) the continental shelf and the submarine shelf of such islands, keys and reefs,

(v) the waters of the territorial seas, in accordance with international law, and its interior maritime waters,

(vi) the space located above the national territory, in accordance with international law, and

(vii) any areas beyond the territorial seas of Mexico within which, in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and its domestic law, Mexico may exercise rights with respect to the seabed and subsoil and their natural resources; and

(c) with respect to the United States,

(i) the customs territory of the United States, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico,

(ii) the foreign trade zones located in the United States and Puerto Rico, and

(iii) any areas beyond the territorial seas of the United States within which, in accordance with international law and its domestic law, the United States may exercise rights with respect to the seabed and subsoil and their natural resources.