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 series of government studies have drawn increasing attention to the possibility of bilateral free trade negotiations: Look Outward (1975) by the Economic Council of Canada; several reports of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs (1975, 1978 and 1982); and the 1985 Macdonald Commission report (formally the Royal Commission for Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada), chaired by former Liberal politician Donald Stovel Macdonald. Macdonald said that “Canadians should be prepared to leap faith” and pursue more open trade with the United States. Although Macdonald was a former Liberal finance minister, the Commission`s results were adopted by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney`s Progressive Conservative Party, although they voted against a free trade initiative during the 1984 Canadian election campaign. The milestones for the start of free trade negotiations have been laid.  As noted in the agreement, the main objectives of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement were: the agreement did not liberalized trade in some areas, particularly the lingering conifer wood controversy. Issues such as trade in minerals, freshwater and conifer wood remain controversial. The free trade agreement was concluded in 1988 and NAFTA extended most of the provisions of the free trade agreement to Mexico. NAFTA was negotiated by the governments of U.S.
President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President.