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Update on NAFTA Negotiations

Alert Series - Trade Watch: Understanding U.S. Trade Policy in the New Trump Administration

Baker Donelson's Trade and Compliance attorneys are pleased to introduce a quarterly series of client alerts that address how trade and compliance matters in the new Administration could affect your business, as well as how you can prepare your business with thoughtful and timely planning. Our series will highlight key developments that will affect outbound and inbound trade, including potential higher tariffs, stepped up enforcement of dumping and subsidies law, and significant changes to sanctions and export control laws.

In May, we reviewed the state of the Administration and advised how businesses can account for changes and prepare for the future. Now, Doreen Edelman, co-chair of Baker Donelson's Global Business Team, gives an update on the status of NAFTA and what businesses can expect to see in the coming months. Scroll down to see Doreen's interview on CGTN America last week about the negotiations, government objectives and the Congressional approval process.

Update on NAFTA Negotiations

Canada and Mexico have now appointed negotiating teams of seasoned professionals. Canada also has created a NAFTA Council comprised of public and private sector experts from the energy, auto, labor and agricultural fields. Negotiations will begin in the U.S. during the week of August 16. The next round has already been set to take place in Mexico for the week of September 10. Mexico would like the talks completed by the end of the year, well ahead of the 2018 Presidential election next July. The U.S. has so far acquiesced to such a schedule; however, the Canadians may not be as accommodating.

The Mexican government has raised labor issues regarding customs and visa procedures and temporary workers while the U.S. Congressional hearings have highlighted issues relating to specific industries including dairy, beef, seasonal agricultural products, and the oil and gas industry. The Canadians continue to raise cultural preferences as a NAFTA exception which could affect the ability of U.S. film, music, radio, print and other information to be freely shared in Canada under the trade deal. Finally, dispute resolution will likely be a contentious issue.

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