Arent Fox has learned that the Office of the US Trade Representative announced it will hold a public hearing on June 27 to discuss next steps for NAFTA renegotiations. This will follow a public comment period that will end on June 12. In a Federal Register notice slated to be published on Tuesday, May 23, USTR said it is “seeking public comments on matters relevant to the modernization of NAFTA in order to inform development of US negotiating positions.”

USTR's Trade Policy Staff Committee identifies several areas for specific comments. The full list is provided below. Readers will take note that USTR staff will be looking at key industries on a NAFTA rule and product-by-product basis.

  1. General and product-specific negotiating objectives for Canada and Mexico in the context of a NAFTA modernization.
  2. Economic costs and benefits to US 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, 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.