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NAFTA Re-Negotiation Objectives: USTR Requests Public Input

The U.S. Trade Representative  (USTR)  is seeking “public comments on matters relevant to the modernization of NAFTA in order to inform development of U.S. negotiating positions.”  This is an opportunity for anyone impacted by U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico, either positively or negatively, to raise issues that they would like to see addressed in the re-negotiation of NAFTA.

USTR has highlighted several areas for specific comment, including rules of origin, digital trade issues and labor.  For guidance, this is the full list of topics open for comment:

  1. General and product-specific negotiating objectives for Canada and Mexico in the context of a NAFTA modernization.
  2. Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal of any remaining tariffs and removal or reduction of non-tariff barriers on articles traded with Canada and Mexico.
  3. Treatment of specific goods (described by HTSUS numbers), including comments on–
    1. Product-specific import or export interests or barriers,
    2. Experience with particular measures that should be addressed in negotiations, and

    3. Addressing any remaining tariffs on articles traded with Canada, including ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities related to Canada and Mexico in the context of the NAFTA.

  4. Customs and trade facilitation issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  5. Appropriate modifications to rules of origin or origin procedures for NAFTA qualifying goods.
  6. Any unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade imposed by Canada and Mexico that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  7. Relevant barriers to trade in services between the United States and Canada and Mexico that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  8. Relevant digital trade issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  9. Relevant trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  10. Relevant investment issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  11. Relevant competition-related matters that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  12. Relevant government procurement issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  13. Relevant environmental issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  14. Relevant labor issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  15. Issues of particular relevance to small and medium-sized businesses that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  16. Relevant trade remedy issues that should be addressed in the negotiations.
  17. Relevant state-owned enterprise issues that should be addressed in the negotiations

Comments are due by June 12, as are requests to appear at a companion hearing to be held on June 27.  The Federal Register announcement may be found here.

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