NAFTA Negotiations Continue

September 6, 2018

The U.S. and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement in principle to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the wake of the announcement, Canadian trade officials met with the U.S. Trade Representative and other negotiators throughout this week with the goal of reaching a trilateral agreement. Talks between Canada and the U.S. are ongoing and while the two sides have “covered a lot of ground,” there have been no concessions by Canada on agriculture yet.

The updated U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement will provide mutually beneficial trade and support for freer markets. The agreement is said to focus especially on strengthening trade for U.S. farmers and agriculture. The modernized agreement maintains zero tariffs on agricultural products and makes significant commitments to reduce trade-distorting policies. The two countries have agreed to refrain from using export subsidies or other World Trade Organization special agricultural safeguards, improve transparency regarding export restrictions for food security, and consider the use of domestic support measures that have minimal or no trade distorting or production effects.

The U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement now moves into a period of finalization and implementation. While high-level talks with Canada continue, the Administration has notified Congress of President Trump’s intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico within 90 days.