Essay by Peter ElliotCollege, UndergraduateF, April 1997

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The North America market is one of the richest in the world. Measured in terms of GDP, it is the equivalent of Western Europe. But with a somewhat smaller population, GDP per capita in North America, Canada, Mexico and the U.S., is around 12 percent higher than in Western Europe. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into effect January 1, 1994, sets out the schedule for tariff elimination for members.. As a small country, Canada has always been careful in it's dealings it's large neighbor, the U.S., however, compliance to this agreement threatens our very existence. Canada was unfairly taken advantage of in the singing of this agreement, our identity of a sovereign nation is at risk.

The North American market is also one of the most sophisticated and demanding. It is an excellent base from which to develop and launch new products.

From a Canadian base, companies can establish a solid market position throughout North America and then reach out to serve global markets. This agreement, which and contains many key provisions to facilitate the conduct of business among the three countries, has been a benefit to Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade. The continent-wide transportation system that binds this market together is efficient and cost-effective. Carriers of all modes are investing in more sophisticated technology and entering into strategic alliances to improve service. Border crossings are becoming easier.

Canada provides an ideal location for serving the entire North American market. Companies based in Canada have preferred access to a market of 380 million people, with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $10 trillion (Canadian dollars). However, our participation in the agreement allows the U.S. unobstructed to our market. This poses a serious problem when looking at pure numbers. Canada is a country...