SOCMA Outlines Priorities for NAFTA Negotiations

This week SOCMA submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on its priorities for North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) re-negotiation. Since NAFTA was ratified, trade in chemicals between NAFTA countries has more than tripled, from $20 billion in 1994 to $63 billion in 2014. For this reason, it is vitally important that this re-negotiation does not harm the outstanding existing trading relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

While NAFTA has benefited the specialty chemical industry, as a 20-year-old agreement, there are provisions that should be updated, including rules of origin, duty drawback, and better regulatory cooperation and transparency. Although NAFTA has delivered important gains for the specialty chemical sector in North America, it could have an even larger impact if it reflected progress in regulatory, customs, transportation, and communication practices and procedures.

Read all of SOCMA’s comments here.

NAFTA timeline:
May 18: NAFTA notification letter sent to Congress
June 12: NAFTA public comments due
June 27: NAFTA public hearing at U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)
July 17: Administration must release negotiating NAFTA objectives on USTR’s website (if intend to begin talks 90 days after notification letter)
August 16: NAFTA negotiations can’t begin before this date

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