Alerts and Updates

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments from the public regarding proposed negotiations with Mexico and Canada to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).

Persons wishing to testify at the hearings must submit written notification and a summary of the proposed testimony by Monday, June 12, 2017. Written comments are also due by June 12, 2017.

The hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in the Main Hearing Room of the United States International Trade Commission, located at 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436.

Notifications of intent to testify and the submission of comments are to be made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. For alternatives to online submissions, call 202.395.3475.

The Trade Policy Staff Committee (“TPSC”) is particularly interested in the following areas:

  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 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 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.
  8. Relevant digital trade issues that should be addressed.

In addition, the public is asked to address: relevant trade-related intellectual property issues; investment issues; competition-related matters; government procurement issues; environmental issues; labor issues; issues of particular concern to small and medium-sized businesses; trade remedy issues; and state-owned enterprise issues.

For further details regarding the proceedings (in person testimony and written submissions), please refer to the Federal Register Notice and the U.S. government contact persons identified.