Deadline nears for public comment on NAFTA renegotiations

by Erica Shaffer
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NAFTA comments are due to the US Trade Representative by June 12.
WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration has published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) seeking public comments on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In a letter dated May 18, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to begin trade talks with Canada and Mexico.

The letter triggered a 90-day period before negotiations begin, and as part of the process the Administration published the notice seeking public comment. “Per the FRN, the Administration seeks comments on general and product-specific negotiating objectives, as well as comments on specific provisions,” John Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere of the International Trade Administration, said in a “Tradeology” blog post.  A public hearing will be held on June 27 at the US International Trade Commission following the comment period.

The notice asks for input on 17 specific topics, including digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment and small and medium-sized enterprises. Andersen wrote that submitted comments will inform the direction, focus and content of the NAFTA renegotiations.

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