(pg. 1115); a direct response to the European Union (EU), was originally proposed during the Bush administration. President Bush and leaders of the other nations signed the agreement in 1992, but Congress blocked it. It called for gradual removal of trade restrictions among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. ________'s supporters maintained that creating a free trade zone in North America would promote economic growth, reduce prices, increase exports, and encourage economic investment. President Clinton embraced NAFTA and pushed it through congress. It went into effect in 1994, and since then the three countries have also signed agreements covering environmental protection, safety standards, and workers' rights.