NAFTA has been a net benefit to Americans and the American economy since it took effect in 1994, allowing for the integration of North American production and supply chains. The auto industry is an important part of NAFTA and one of its greatest success stories. 

Our Work on NAFTA


  • NAFTA was ratified in 1992 and took full effect in 1994, driving significant economic investment into the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and impacting the flow of goods and services between these nations.
  • It increased competitiveness of automakers doing business inside the U.S. by eliminating key tariffs that made it possible for automakers to increase the number of manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
  • The agreement also included the highest automotive origin requirement of any U.S. trade agreement, tripling exports of U.S. parts suppliers to Mexico. 
  • NAFTA built on the interconnected nature of the global auto industry, enabling automakers to enhance their supply chains and build more vehicles for the North American market and for export abroad. 

NAFTA's Benefits

  • International nameplate automakers have doubled their number of direct employees in the U.S. to 130,000 Americans and tripled production.
  • In 2016, automakers manufactured 12.2 million vehicles in the U.S., which is 1 million more than it did the year before NAFTA took effect. 
  • Worldwide exports of U.S.-built vehicles have more than doubled, and their value has more than tripled to $54 billion in 2016. 
  • The auto sector is the leading exporter in the nation, shipping $137 billion in vehicles and parts to Mexico, Canada, and the rest of the world in 2016. 
  • International nameplate brands have increased their exports by five times since 1993, from 121,300 vehicles to 925,000 cars and trucks in 2016. 
  • In 2016, the auto sector invested $8 billion in U.S. plants and equipment, and nearly $20 billion in R&D. 
  • The U.S. auto industry today supports more than 7 million American jobs. 
  • Today, there are 577,000 international nameplate dealership jobs, located at 9,600 franchises, located in every congressional district in the country.
  • These jobs result in a total national payroll of $32 billion. 
  • International nameplate dealers sold 8.4 million vehicles to American consumers in 2016. 
  • Increased tariffs without NAFTA would increase the average price on vehicles sold in the U.S. and decrease the annual auto sales rate. 

Resources & Coalitions

NAFTA in the News

Watch: NAFTA is Working for Americans

Find out why the auto industry is one of NAFTA's biggest success stories

Find out why the auto industry is one of NAFTA's biggest success stories

Youtube Video