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.  After U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he tried to replace NAFTA with a new agreement and began negotiations with Canada and Mexico.
In September 2018, the United States, Mexico and Canada reached an agreement to replace NAFTA with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and the three countries had ratified it until March 2020. Nafta remained in effect until the implementation of the USMCA.  In April 2020, Canada and Mexico informed the United States that they were ready to implement the agreement.  The USMCA came into force on July 1, 2020 and replaced NAFTA. A «secondary agreement» reached in August 1993 on the application of existing domestic labour law, the North American Convention on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) , was severely restricted. With regard to health and safety standards and child labour law, it excluded collective bargaining issues, and its «control teeth» were only accessible at the end of a «long and painful» dispute.  The obligations to enforce existing labour law have also raised questions of democratic practice.  The Canadian anti-NAFTA coalition Pro-Canada Network suggested that guarantees of minimum standards in the absence of «extensive democratic reforms in the [Mexican] courts, unions and government» would be of no use.  However, subsequent evaluations indicated that NAALC`s principles and complaint mechanisms «created a new space for princes to form coalitions and take concrete steps to articulate the challenges of the status quo and promote the interests of workers.»  According to a 2018 Sierra Club report, Canada`s NAFTA and Paris Agreement commitments have been met. The Paris commitments were voluntary and NAFTA was mandatory.
 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, called it «the continuation of other catastrophic trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and normal, sustainable trade relations with China.» He believes that free trade agreements have led to the loss of American jobs and lower U.S. wages. Sanders said America needs to rebuild its production base with U.S. factories for well-paying jobs for the U.S. workforce, instead of relocating to China and elsewhere.    Maquiladoras (Mexican assembly plants that absorb imported components and produce goods for export) have become the emblem of trade in Mexico. They left the United States for Mexico, hence the debate about the loss of American jobs. Revenues in the maquiladora sector had increased by 15.5% since nafta in 1994.  Other sectors have also benefited from the free trade agreement and the share of non-cross-border exports to the United States has increased over the past five years [when?], while the share of exports from border states has declined. This has led to rapid growth in non-cross-border metropolitan areas such as Toluca, Leén and Puebla, all more populated than Tijuana, Ciudad Juérez and Reynosa. El Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), in inglés North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Francés North Free Trade Agreement