On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Trade Representative released a 17 page document entitled, Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation. The publication of objectives is in accordance with section 105(a)(1)(D) of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. The specific objectives cover the following topics:

  • Trade in Goods
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)
  • Customs, Trade Facilitation, and Rules of Origin
  • Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
  • Good Regulatory Practices
  • Trade in Services, Including Telecommunications and Financial Services
  • Digital Trade in Goods and Services and Cross-Border Data Flows
  • Investment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Transparency
  • State-Owned and Controlled Enterprises
  • Competition Policy
  • Labor
  • Environment
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Trade Remedies
  • Government Procurement
  • Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises
  • Energy
  • Dispute Settlement
  • General Provisions
  • Currency

The broad categories above include topics such as: regulatory compatibility, transparency, increased food safety, open markets, improved cooperation, trade facilitation (including raising de minimis amounts for expedited clearance, advance rulings, automated processes for import and export, updating the rules of origin, and streamlining certification and verification processes.

In the area of digital trade the objectives include seeking commitments to not impose duties on digital products (e.g., software, music, video, e-books) and establishing rules to ensure that NAFTA countries do not impose measures that restrict cross-border data flows and do not require the use or installation of local computing facilities or mandate disclosure of source code.

In the trade remedies area, one of the objectives is the elimination of the Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism. In the general dispute settlement area, the objective is to establish a dispute settlement mechanism that is transparent, effective, timely, and in which panel determinations are based on the provisions of the Agreement and the submissions of the parties and are provided in a reasoned manner.

In the area of government procurement, the objectives include exclusion of sub-federal coverage (state and local governments) from the commitments being negotiated and keeping in place domestic preferential purchasing programs such as: preference programs for small businesses, women and minority owned businesses, service-disabled veterans, and distressed areas; “Buy America” requirements on Federal assistance to state and local projects, transportation services, food assistance, and farm support; and key Department of Defense procurement.

See the document for the full list.