However, bilateral relations have occasionally been plagued by isolated issues, such as Canada`s decision not to participate in the 2003 Iraq War and the Obama administration`s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015. While the Canadian government welcomed the Trump administration`s March 2017 decision to revive Keystone XL, several other points of disagreement emerged. Canadian officials are particularly frustrated by the Trump administration`s approach to renegotiating NAFTA and other trade disputes, such as the government`s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Policy changes in the United States have also influenced the views of Canadian citizens, 76% of whom disapproved of the « professional performance of U.S. leadership » in 2017.1 This could hamper efforts to conclude bilateral agreements or gain Canadian support for U.S. initiatives that are advancing. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas and U.S. President George H.W. Bush, came into force on January 1, 1994. NAFTA has created economic growth and a rising standard of living for the people of the three member countries. By strengthening trade and investment rules and procedures across the continent, Nafta has proven to be a solid foundation for building Canada`s prosperity.
NAFTA replaced Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). Negotiations on CUFTA began in 1986 and the agreement entered into force on 1 January 1989. The two nations agreed on a landmark agreement that put Canada and the United States at the forefront of trade liberalization. For more information, visit the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement information page. With a population and economy one-tenth the size of the United States, Canada has always been sensitive to being swallowed up by its southern neighbour. Whether by retaliating against real attacks by the United States during the War of 1812 or by opposing free trade with the United States for more than the first century of its history, it has tried to cartor its own course in the world, while maintaining its historical and political ties with the British Commonwealth.