The discussion on a common trade area was initiated in 1985 by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with the proposal to draft a free trade agreement between Canada and the United States. Negotiations began in 1986 and the two countries signed the agreement in 1988. The Canada-U.S. agreement came into force on January 1, 1989. NAFTA contained two important endorsements that concealed concerns that companies would relocate their production and production sites to other participating countries to use lower wages and occupational health and safety rules. Supporters have capped NAFTA because it has opened up Mexican markets to U.S. companies like never before. The Mexican market is growing rapidly, which promises more export opportunities, which means more jobs. However, proponents have struggled to convince the American public that NAFTA would do more good than harm.
Their main efforts have been to convince citizens that all consumers have as wide a choice of products at as low a price as possible, which means that consumers would be the main beneficiaries of lowered trade barriers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of small businesses, was one of THE most active supporters of NAFTA and organized small and medium-sized business owners and employees to support the agreement. This support was essential to counter the efforts of organized work to put an end to the agreement. The kick-off of a North American free trade area began with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his campaign by announcing his candidacy for president in November 1979.  Canada and the United States signed the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1988, and shortly thereafter, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari decided to address U.S. President George H.W. Bush to propose a similar agreement to make foreign investment after the Latin American debt crisis.  When the two leaders began negotiations, the Canadian government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney feared that the benefits that Canada had gained through the Canada-U.S.
free trade agreement would be undermined by a bilateral agreement between the United States and Mexico, and asked to be associated with the U.S.-Mexico talks.  A fourth round of talks included a U.S. request for a sunset clause that would terminate the agreement in five years unless the three countries agreed to maintain it, a provision that would allow U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to terminate the agreement if it did not work. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the House Ways and Means Committee because Congress would have to pass legislation that re-releases the treaty provisions if Trump tries to pull out of the pact.  According to a 2017 report by the New York City Think Tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), bilateral agricultural trade tripled between 1994 and 2017 and is considered one of the main economic effects of NAFTA on U.S.-Canada trade, which becomes the largest importer of the U.S. agricultural sector.  Fears of job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector were not due to the fact that manufacturing employment remained “stable”.