May 7, 2018

NAFTA Negotiations Resume This Week

On Monday, the United States, Canada, and Mexico resumed negotiations on North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) reauthorization.

Over the last month, the focus has been on auto rules of origin. Though the United States has made concessions regarding this issue, last week U.S. negotiators said they wanted 40 percent of the content of an automobile produced in North America be manufactured using workers who have been paid at least $15 per hour. As Politico’s “Morning Trade” noted, that figure is an increase from the U.S.’s initial proposal of 30 percent of content at $15 an hour. Mexican officials already have rejected this demand.

Negotiators also have been focused on U.S. proposals to implement a mandatory sunset of the agreement, weakening or abandonment of enforcement rules, and changes to government procurement reciprocity. As Connecting the Dots has reported previously, Canada, Mexico, and the United States already have completed work on at least six chapters of an updated agreement.

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) continues to encourage its members to discuss their opinions about NAFTA reauthorization with lawmakers. The Canadian government has established a webpage for stakeholders to submit their views. Companies also may submit comments by email (NAFTA-Consultations-ALENA@international.gc.ca) or by mail to: NAFTA Consultations, Global Affairs Canada, Trade Negotiations – North America (TNP), Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2.

MSCI members in the United States who are interested in weighing in on NAFTA deliberations should contact their representatives in the U.S. House and Senate to let them know how altering or eliminating NAFTA would affect their businesses, employees, and customers. Click here for contact information for every member of the House and here for senators. MSCI’s comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding NAFTA reauthorization are here.