Public comment on NAFTA renegotiations has been extended until midnight tonight ET, according to an Alert by Nevena Simidjiyska published on June 13:
The process of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada officially began on May 18 when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress, triggering a 90-day period during which the administration will consult with Congress before NAFTA negotiations can begin. The USTR requested public comments on its negotiation of NAFTA, which were initially due by June 12. The USTR has extended its deadline to June 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
After originally calling for a complete withdrawal from NAFTA, the administration displayed a more lenient position in its announcement and notice to Congress. The administration continued to criticize NAFTA’s provisions on labor and environmental protection, digital trade, intellectual property protection, and state-owned enterprises, however, it called for modifying certain aspects of the agreement, rather than comprehensive revisions.
Canada and Mexico have shown a willingness to renegotiate portions of NAFTA, provided that the majority of the Agreement stays intact. The two countries are likely to push back on certain topics, including the administration’s plan to increase local content for country-of-origin calculations, including that of automobiles, reduction in Canada’s protective measures of its dairy industry, and easing of Mexico’s restrictive policy on foreign investment in its energy sector.
The USTR requested public comment on its negotiation of NAFTA on a broad number of topics listed at the end of this article. Parties may also testify at an open hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 27, 2017 held in the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Written comments and requests to testify must be submitted to USTR. Although the deadline for submission was originally June 12, the deadline has been extended to June 14 at 11:59 pm ET.
To read Nevena’s full update on the USTR’s call for public comment on NAFTA, including topics open for public comment, please visit the Fox Rothschild website.