The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a significant topic in American politics since its inception in 1994. In the Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) curriculum, students learn about the economic and political impact of NAFTA on North America.

NAFTA is an agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that eliminated trade barriers and tariffs between the three countries. The goal of NAFTA was to increase trade and investment between the three countries, promote economic growth and job creation, and improve the standard of living for citizens.

In APUSH, students learn about the debates surrounding the passage of NAFTA, with some arguing that it would increase job opportunities and boost the economy, while others believed it would result in lost jobs and lower wages for American workers.

One of the key provisions of NAFTA was the establishment of dispute resolution mechanisms that allowed businesses to file complaints against other countries for unfair trade practices. This provision has been used in numerous cases, including a dispute between the United States and Mexico over the importation of Mexican sugar.

Another important aspect of NAFTA discussed in APUSH is the impact on different industries. For example, NAFTA led to a surge in the agricultural industry, as American farmers gained access to new markets in Mexico and Canada. However, the manufacturing industry in the United States saw job losses as companies moved production to Mexico due to lower labor costs.

The future of NAFTA has also been a point of discussion in recent years, with President Donald Trump calling for the renegotiation or withdrawal from the agreement. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have since reached a new agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which includes updates on intellectual property rights, digital trade, and labor standards.

Overall, the study of NAFTA in APUSH provides valuable insights into the economic and political impact of international trade agreements. By examining its history, controversies, and current developments, students can gain a better understanding of how trade policies shape the global economy.