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End to supply management now official U.S. NAFTA goal

Staff Writer |
The Trump administration revised its negotiating objectives for revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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This is largely to reflect the demands it has made in NAFTA talks on agriculture, intellectual property and investment, Reuters reported.

The revised objectives are now in line with U.S. proposals to eliminate Canada’s import tariffs on dairy, poultry and egg products and to allow more protections for seasonal U.S. produce that is sensitive to imports from Mexico.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it is keeping in place most of its NAFTA objectives, first published in July, including a first-ever goal of reducing U.S. trade deficits.

USTR Robert Lighthizer said that the revisions are aimed at keeping Americans informed about what the Trump administration is seeking in a revised NAFTA.

“If we are able to achieve these objectives, we will both modernize and rebalance NAFTA to better serve the interests of our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

The new objectives on investment and intellectual property rights add considerable detail, partly aimed at reflecting existing demands and partly aimed at setting precedents for future trade agreements.

On investment, the objectives now seek to provide “meaningful procedures for resolving investment disputes, while ensuring the protection of U.S. sovereignty and the maintenance of strong U.S. domestic industries.”

U.S. negotiators are seeking to allow countries to “opt in” to an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and to eliminate panels that arbitrate anti-dumping disputes between NAFTA countries.


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