In 2008, Canadian exports to the United States and Mexico totaled $381.3 billion and imports $245.1 billion.  According to a 2004 paper by University of Toronto economist Daniel Trefler, NAFTA provided Canada with a significant net benefit in 2003, with long-term productivity increasing by up to 15 per cent in the sectors that experienced the largest tariff reductions.  While the decline in low-productivity jobs has reduced employment (up to 12 per cent of existing jobs), these job losses have lasted less than a decade; Overall, unemployment has declined in Canada since the legislation was passed. Trefler commented on the compromise, saying that the crucial trade policy issue was “how free trade can be implemented in an industrialized economy so that the long-term benefits and short-term adjustment costs borne by workers and others are recognized.”  Many critics of NAFTA saw the agreement as a radical experiment developed by influential multinationals who wanted to increase their profits at the expense of ordinary citizens of the countries concerned. Opposition groups argued that the horizontal rules imposed by nafta could undermine local governments by preventing them from enacting laws or regulations to protect the public interest. Critics also argued that the treaty would lead to a significant deterioration in environmental and health standards, promote privatization and deregulation of essential public services, and supplant family farmers in the signatory countries. A study published in the August 2008 edition of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics found that NAFTA increased U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada, although most of the increase occurred a decade after its ratification. The study focused on the impact of phase-in periods in regional trade agreements, including NAFTA, on trade flows. Most of the increase in membership agricultural trade, recently entered into the World Trade Organization, is due to very high trade barriers prior to NAFTA or other regional trade agreements.
 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); in Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; In French: North American Free Trade Agreement, ALNA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.