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The European Union (EU) i/jrpinjunjn/ is an economic and political union or confederation[10][11] of 27 member states which are located

primarily in Europe.[12] The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in 1958. In the intervening years the EU has grown in size by the accession of new member states, and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993.[13] The latest amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the TreMain article: History of the European Union

Robert Schuman proposing the Coal and Steel Community on 9 May 1950. After World War II, moves towards European integration were seen by many as an escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had devastated the continent.[25] One such attempt to unite Europeans was the European Coal and Steel Community, which was declared to be "a first step in the federation of Europe", starting with the aim of eliminating the possibility of further wars between its member states by means of pooling the national heavy industries.[26] The founding members of the Community were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The originators and supporters of the Community include Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Paul-

NAFTA:
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 It superseded the Canada United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada. In terms of combined GDP of its members, as of 2010 the trade bloc is the largest in the world. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has two supplements, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). Henri Spaak, and Alcide De GaspFollowing diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1986 among the three nations, the leaders met in San Antonio, Texas, on December 17, 1992, to sign NAFTA.

U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed it. The agreement then needed to be ratified by each nation's legislative or parliamentary branch. Before the negotiations were finalized, Bill Clinton came into office in the U.S. and Kim Campbell in Canada, and before the agreement became law, Jean Chrtien had taken office in Canada. The proposed Canada-U.S.trade agreement had been very controversial and divisive in Canada, and the 1988 Canadian election was fought almost exclusively on that issue. In that election, more Canadians voted for anti-free trade parties (the Liberals and the New Democrats) but the split caused more seats in parliament to be won by the pro-free trade Progressive Conservatives (PCs). Mulroney and the PCs had a parliamentary majority and were easily able to pass the Canada-US FTA and NAFTA bills. However, Mulroney himself had become deeply unpopular and resigned on June 25, 1993. He was replaced as Conservative leader and prime minister by Kim Campbell, who then led the PC party into the 1993 election where they were decimated by the Liberal party under Jean Chrtien 1. 2. 3. 4. eri.[27] Small Business Finances & Taxes Free Trade Functions of the North American Free Trade Agreement

Functions of the North American Free Trade Agreement


by James Highland, Demand Media

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NAFTA affects the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a pivotal decision affecting the transfer of goods between the United States, Canada and Mexico. It was signed into law at the beginning of 1994 and the countries gradually fulfilled its terms over the course of 15 years following that date. NAFTA provides these nations with a more efficient way to import and execute goods throughout North America.

U.S.-Canada Agricultural Tariffs


One of the functions of NAFTA is to eliminate some of the tariffs on imports between the United States, Canada and Mexico. All tariffs between Canada and the U.S. were dropped for any agricultural trading between these two nations. Part of this policy was already in place by the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement of 1989, but the rules were re-organized into NAFTA. The additional elimination of other tariffs not covered by the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement were eventually put into effect by 1998. The two countries now freely trade nearly all agricultural products without tariffs as a result of the NAFTA arrangements.

Canada-Mexico Agricultural Tariffs

NAFTA also eliminates some tariffs on agriculture trade between Canada and Mexico. The agreement is not as broad as the U.S.-Canada arrangements; Canada and Mexico still impose tariffs on dairy products, eggs, sugar and poultry, as these agricultural exports were not affected by the two nations' NAFTA policies. The elimination of affected tariffs took longer to implement for Canada-Mexico relations, with some of the tariffs remaining in place for 15 years following the creation of NAFTA.

U.S.-Mexico Agricultural Tariffs


In 2008, the U.S. and Mexico eliminated the final tariffs on agricultural products. All agriculture trade between these two nations is now tariff-free. NAFTA eliminated many of these tariffs soon after the agreement, but it allowed others to continue for 15 years while the transition took place.

Non-Tariff Barriers
While the elimination of tariffs is the largest function of NAFTA, other barriers had previously complicated the trade process between these nations. In particular, Mexico used to require import licenses on products from the United States; the result was that trade between the two countries was comparatively more difficult. NAFTA eliminated these restrictions after a delay of many years.

Product Origin
Under the rules of NAFTA, trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico primarily affects products produced in North America. The agreement strictly prohibits any trade benefits to most products that are not of North American origin. This is an important function of NAFTA.

Import Protection
While free trade is the primary goal of NAFTA, the policies do allow for temporary measures that block or complicate trading between North American countries in the event of dangerous circumstances affecting particular products. If an import causes risks to a country's public, it may impose a tariff or increase the amount of an existing tariff on that particular import until the situation is resolved.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations


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Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN

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Flag

Emblem

Motto: One Vision, One Identity, One Community[1] Anthem: The ASEAN Way

The ASEAN Way

The Secretariat of ASEAN at Jalan Sisingamangaraja No.70A, South Jakarta, Indonesia. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations[4] (ASEAN /si.n/ AH-see-ahn,[5] rarely /zi.n/ AH-zee-ahn)[6][7] is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.[8] Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.[9] ASEAN covers a land area of 4.46 million km, which is 3% of the total land area of Earth, and has a population of approximately 600 million people, which is 8.8% of the world's population. The sea area of ASEAN is about three times larger than its land counterpart. In 2010, its combined nominal GDP had grown to US$1.8 trillion.[10] If ASEAN were a single entity, it would rank as the ninth largest economy in the world

History
See also: List of ASEAN member states ASEAN was preceded by an organisation called the Association of Southeast Asia, commonly called ASA, an alliance consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand that was formed in 1961. The bloc itself, however, was established on 8 August 1967, when foreign ministers of five countries Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok and signed the ASEAN Declaration, more commonly known as the Bangkok Declaration. The five foreign ministers Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso Ramos of the Philippines, Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam of

Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand are considered the organisation's Founding Fathers.[11] The motivations for the birth of ASEAN were so that its members governing elite could concentrate on nation building, the common fear of communism, reduced faith in or mistrust of external powers in the 1960s, and a desire for economic development; not to mention Indonesias ambition to become a regional hegemon through regional cooperation and the hope on the part of Malaysia and Singapore to constrain Indonesia and bring it into a more cooperative framework. Papua New Guinea was accorded Observer status in 1976 and Special Observer status in 1981.[12] Papua New Guinea is a Melanesian state. ASEAN embarked on a program of economic cooperation following the Bali Summit of 1976. This floundered in the mid-1980s and was only revived around 1991 due to a Thai proposal for a regional free trade area. The bloc grew when Brunei Darussalam became the sixth member on 8 January 1984, barely a week after gaining independence on 1 January