The goal of completing the renegotiation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by the end of this year has been abandoned. Moreover, the prospects for success do not look good as the latest round of negotiations ended with representatives of each participating country (Canada, U.S., Mexico) saying there were major areas of disagreement. The key stumbling blocks include dairy, auto and “Buy American” rules.
A U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, says other countries must accept that export access to the U.S. market will no longer be easy. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says there is room to modernize NAFTA, but progress will be difficult so long as the U.S. has a “winner-take-all” approach.
The next round of negotiations will happen at an as yet undetermined date in 2018.
For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.