In NAFTA Modernization Talks, Business Looks to Keep What’s Working

Earlier this month in Washington, D.C., the United States, Canada and Mexico kicked off the NAFTA modernization effort with their first round of negotiations. The next round will take place September 1-5 in Mexico. As the three countries noted in their joint statement, the negotiations will continue at a rapid pace, with a third round planned for Canada in late September, and a fourth round back in the U.S. in October.

USCIB has been actively representing member interests in the NAFTA modernization effort, including submitting comments to USTR and testifying at the public hearings. Our written submission focuses on ensuring beneficial provisions stay intact and improving upon the agreement in new areas, such as e-commerce, telecommunications, digital trade, cross border data flows, and state-owned enterprises. And several USCIB-penned op-eds have sought to present the business case for keeping what works in NAFTA while bringing the agreement into the 21st century.

“In light of the ambitious negotiating schedule, we will need to focus on priority issues that require specific attention in our advocacy efforts,” notes Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director of investment, trade and financial services. “We also need to be prepared to provide more detailed input as the governments move quickly to consideration of texts.”

Working with USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan, Hampl is spearheading the development of targeted USCIB comments on potential changes to NAFTA for submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. In addition, Hampl and USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly are working with USCIB members to demonstrate the continued importance of strong investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) provisions in NAFTA. And Megan Giblin, USCIB’s director of customs and trade facilitation, is working closely with members to provide targeted input on NAFTA’s customs-related provisions.

USCIB members should contact Hampl at to discuss their priority issues in the context of these fast-moving negotiations.

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