When it comes to free trade agreements, many people wonder which US president was responsible for starting them. The answer to this question may surprise you.
The first free trade agreement between the United States and another country was actually signed by President Gerald Ford in 1974. This agreement was called the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) and it eliminated tariffs on most goods traded between the two countries.
However, it was President Ronald Reagan who took free trade to the next level by negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in 1994. NAFTA was the first free trade agreement to involve a developing country and was groundbreaking in its scope.
Under NAFTA, tariffs were gradually eliminated on a wide range of goods and services, making it easier and cheaper for businesses to trade across borders. Supporters of NAFTA argued that it would lead to increased economic growth and job creation in all three countries.
Since NAFTA, the United States has gone on to negotiate numerous other free trade agreements with countries around the world, including South Korea, Colombia, Peru, and Australia, to name just a few.
Despite the benefits that free trade agreements can bring, they have also faced criticism from some quarters. Critics argue that free trade can lead to job losses in certain sectors, particularly those that are vulnerable to competition from other countries.
Regardless of your views on free trade, there is no denying that these agreements have played a significant role in shaping the global economy over the past few decades. And it all began with President Ford, who took a step towards free trade with Canada.