The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada. It is one of the largest trade bloc in the world today. Beginning in 1994 NAFTA allowed hundreds of U.S. companies to reorganize their production and open factories in Mexico. The import/export processing zone reduced costs because of reduced taxes and cheaper labor costs by employing mostly women in the factories which are referred to as “maquiladoras.”)