On July 17, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a summary of specific objectives with respect to renegotiations of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The objectives reflect the input USTR received from Congress, advisory committees, other agencies and the public. The initial assessment of trade policy experts is that the blueprint does not deviate substantially from established U.S. trade policy.
USTR’s goal for NAFTA renegotiation is to continue to break down barriers to American exports, positively impacting the trade balance to eliminate subsidies and market distorting practices by state-owned enterprises. USTR has included deficit reduction as a specific objective for the new NAFTA.
Two key areas of interest to PESA member companies include trade in services (page 7) and energy (page 16). USTR will seek to secure commitments providing fair and open conditions for services trade and improve transparency and predictability of regulatory procedures. In the energy industry, USTR will seek to preserve and strengthen investment, market access and state-owned enterprise disciplines, while promoting market-opening reforms.
In accordance with the NAFTA renegotiating process, USTR must provide these objectives 30 days prior to formal negotiations; as such, negotiations will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017.
PESA will continue to provide feedback on NAFTA modernization through the International Trade Committee and Mexico Task Force. For questions or additional insight, please contact PESA Senior Director of Public Policy, Jean Gould.