Key Topic – NAFTA
comments that NAFTA’s chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary measures should be strengthened and that the agreement should accommodate e-commerce. UPDATE: On July 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published its list of objectives for the NAFTA renegotiations. On a very positive note, topping the list of objectives for agricultural trade is to maintain existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural goods. USMEF summarized the full list of published objectives in this Exporter Update. The first round of NAFTA negotiations was held Aug. 16-20 in Washington, D.C., with round two held Sept. 1-5 in Mexico City and round three Sept. 23-27 in Ottawa. UPDATE:The fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations concluded Oct. 17. In a joint statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo noted that in order to bridge “significant conceptual gaps,” the parties have agreed to a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round, which will be held Nov. 17-21 in Mexico City. The statement adds that additional rounds will be scheduled through the first quarter of 2018. In his own closing statement, Lighthizer expressed frustration with the lack of progress on certain NAFTA chapters, citing digital trade, telecommunications and anticorruption as examples.