Analysts agree that NAFTA has opened up new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. Each year, Mexican consumers spend more on U.S. products than their counterparts in Japan and Europe, which means the stakes are high for entrepreneurs. (Most NAFTA studies focus on the impact of U.S. affairs with Mexico. Trade with Canada has also been improved, but the passage of the trade agreement has not had such a significant impact on the already liberal trade practices that America and its northern neighbour have complied with.) According to the Sierra Club, NAFTA has contributed to large-scale export-oriented agriculture, resulting in increased use of fossil fuels, pesticides and GMOs. [101] NAFTA has also contributed to environmentally harmful mining practices in Mexico. [101] It has prevented Canada from effectively regulating its oil sands industry and has created new legal opportunities for transnational companies to combat environmental legislation. [101] In some cases, environmental policy has been neglected as a result of trade liberalization; In other cases, NAFTA`s investment protection measures, such as Chapter 11, and measures to address non-tariff barriers to trade have threatened to discourage stronger environmental policy.

[102] The most severe increases in pollution attributable to NAFTA were in the base metals, Mexican petroleum and transportation equipment sectors in the United States and Mexico, but not in Canada. [103] From June to the end of August 2018, Canada was sidelined due to bilateral discussions between the United States and Mexico. [137] On August 27, 2018, Mexico and the United States announced that they had reached a bilateral agreement on a revised NAFTA trade agreement, which includes provisions that would boost U.S. auto production[138] a 10-year data protection period against generic drug production on an expanded list of products enjoyed by pharmaceutical companies. , particularly U.S. manufacturers of high-quality bionological drugs. , a sunset clause – a 16-year expiry date with periodic audits over 6 years to eventually extend the contract for an additional 16 years, and a high de minimis threshold, where Mexico increased the de minimis value of US$50 in terms of duty-free and tax-free online purchases to $100. [139] [140] According to an August 30 article in The Economist, Mexico has agreed to increase the rules of origin, which would mean that 75% of a vehicle`s components must be manufactured in North America, as opposed to the previous 62.5%, in order to avoid tariffs.

[141] Given that automakers are currently importing cheaper components from Asia, consumers would pay more for vehicles under the revised agreement. [142] In addition, approximately 40 to 45 per cent of vehicle components must be produced by workers earning at least $16 an hour, as opposed to the current $2.30 per hour that a worker earns on average at a Mexican auto plant. [141] [142] The Economist described this as a “Mexican car construction in a straitjacket”. [141] “The USMCA will provide our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses with a high-level trade agreement that will lead to freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half a billion people who call North America home. The full text of the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada is available here.