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NAFTA has initiated a procedure for addressing transborder economic problems in a more adequate and predictable fashion, potentially encouraging policy convergence between three disparate political cultures. Rather than addressing economic, social and environmental policy issues separately, trade policy now serves as a vehicle for negotiating policy convergence. Consequently trade officials are being forced to deal with an expanded array of domestic policy isues.;This text presents a detailed examination of the initial NAFTA experience and evaluates its long-term implications beyond those of ending trade and tarriff barriers. In particular, it examines the cultural implications of this international arrangement.;In addition, environmental protection and conservation issues are increasingly at the forefront of the international political agenda. NAFTA's environmental side agreement has created a way of addressing environmental concerns whilke protecting local standards, illustrating the attempt to achieve policy convergence by means of a trade apparatus. NAFTA now represents the continuing tension between integration and the maintenance of national autonomy.