The agreement has failed to liberalize trade in some areas, particularly the ongoing dispute over coniferous timber. Issues such as trade in minerals, freshwater and conifer wood remain controversial. The highly organized opposition to NAFTA has focused on the fear that the removal of trade barriers will encourage U.S. companies to get carried away and settle in Mexico to use cheap labour. This concern increased in the early years of the 2000s, when the economy experienced a recession and the subsequent recovery turned out to be a “recovery in unemployment”. Opposition to NAFTA was also strong among environmental groups, who said that the anti-pollution elements in the treaty were woefully inadequate. This criticism has not wavered since the implementation of NAFTA. In fact, Mexico and Canada have been cited on several occasions for environmental infidelities. Take advantage of U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses by modernizing and strengthening food and agricultural trade in North America. U.S. President Ronald Reagan welcomed the Canadian initiative and the U.S.
Congress gave the President the power to sign a free trade agreement with Canada, subject to congressional revision until October 5, 1987. In May 1986, Canadian and U.S. negotiators began developing a trade agreement. The Canadian team was led by former Deputy Finance Minister Simon Reisman and Peter O. Murphy, former U.S. Deputy Trade Representative in Geneva. Often, analyses of the free trade agreement show that its effects on both countries depend on the difference in value between the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar. In 1990-91, the Canadian dollar rose sharply against the U.S. dollar, making Canadian industrial products much more expensive to purchase U.S.
products and making U.S. industrial products significantly cheaper for Canadians who no longer had to pay high tariffs on them. The Liberal Party of Canada had traditionally supported free trade.  Free trade in natural products was a central theme in the 1911 Canadian Legislative Elections. The Conservative Party campaigned with anti-American rhetoric, and the Liberals lost the election. The issue of free trade has not returned to this level of national importance in Canada for many decades. The Government of Canada noted that “THE results of CUSMA preserve key elements of long-term trade relations and contain new and updated provisions to address 21st century trade issues and foster opportunities.” Key elements of the agreement included the removal of tariffs, the removal of many non-tariff barriers, and it was one of the first trade agreements to deal with trade in services. It also included a dispute resolution mechanism for a fair and timely resolution of trade disputes. Since NAFTA was adopted, U.S. trade interests have often expressed very satisfaction with the agreement. Trade has grown strongly between the three NAFTA nations, but this increase in trade activity has led to growing trade deficits for both the United States with Canada and Mexico-;d the United States imports more from Mexico and Canada than it exports to these trading partners.
Critics of the agreement argue that NAFTA is at least partly responsible for these trade deficits and the striking job losses in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade.