A Summary of NAFTA & Negotiations from a Canadian View.
To view full text and source, visit The Globe and Mail Inc. (CA)


NAFTA: A Summarized Guide

I found this amazing guide to the NAFTA negotiations from The Globe and Mail Inc., a Canadian-based online platform and associated press.  I took bits and pieces out and summarized what I could.  Please visit The Globe and Mail Inc for more in-depth information and hundreds of related articles.


Where we are now:

  • The second round of talks in Mexico City wrapped up on Sept. 5, as the Trump administration aggressively targeted NAFTA’s rules on auto manufacturing; Canada’s supply-management system for dairy and poultry; and the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution process, which the U.S. wants to scrap and which Canada and Mexico want to keep.
  • The NAFTA renegotiation talks are heading for Ottawa on Sept. 23-27, with Canada, the U.S. and Mexico still at an impasse over many key issues.
  • Talks then return to the United States in October

What does each member country want to see out of a new NAFTA?

United States:

  • Reducing the U.S. trade deficit within NAFTA, which could mean increasing U.S. exports or reducing Canadian and Mexican imports.
  • Scrapping NAFTA’s dispute-resolution panels, which have sometimes ruled in Canada’s favor on softwood lumber and other trade issues.
  • Making it easier for U.S. telecom companies and banks to operate in the other NAFTA countries.
  • Opening up more Canadian or Mexican government contracts to U.S. companies.
  • Using “Buy American” provisions to bar Canadian or Mexican firms from seeking U.S. government contracts.
  • Making Canadian and Mexican intellectual-property rules more “similar to that found in U.S. law.”


  • Canada wants to keep its Dairy Supply Management system to protect Canada producers from foreign competition. Tariffs on dairy into the country run up to 270%.
  • Canada and the U.S. have been feuding over softwood lumber subsidies since 1980s, which leads to the next concern:
  • Canada wants to revamp the NAFTA rules for how investors can sue governments and companies. One of Canada’s biggest goals in the NAFTA renegotiations is to overhaul Chapter 11 and Chapter 19 so that, instead of ad hoc panels, there would be set rosters of judges appointed by the NAFTA countries.


  • Energy: Mexico’s energy market has undergone major free-market reforms in recent years, making it a lucrative target for U.S. and Canadian energy companies.
  • Auto manufacturing:  The Trump administration’s proposed changes to “rules of origin” would have a big impact on auto manufacturers by redefining which products can be shipped duty-free across borders, based on where their component parts come from.
  • Sugar: Under NAFTA, Mexico’s sugar producers have free access to the U.S. market, but U.S. refiners accuse Mexico of subsidizing its industry and hurting American business. The nations reportedly reached a deal on the issue in June.


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