Government Seeks Input From Canadians on Changes to NAFTA

June 9, 2017

written on behalf of Feigenbaum Law

On the heels of the United States announcing their own public consultation process, Canada’s NAFTA negotiation team has opened online consultations on changes to NAFTA. Canadians will have an important opportunity to provide their views in advance of renegotiations that are expected to begin as early as August.

The call for input comes at a time when the Canadian government has been looking to chart an independent course in foreign affairs, as the United States seemingly abdicates its historical position as a global leader on multiple fronts. In a recent speech on foreign policy, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated her government’s commitment to free trade, and ensuring that it benefits all Canadians.

Although general consultations with major stakeholders have been ongoing, the federal government wants to ensure that any changes to NAFTA respond to the needs of all Canadians. The opinions expressed by Canadian businesses and members of the public with respect to the 23-year-old trade agreement will be used to develop and prioritize the government’s positions as it prepares for renegotiation.

Call for input on changes to NAFTA provides an opportunity for Canadian businesses

Canadian companies should take advantage of this opportunity to communicate their needs with respect to cross-border trade. The federal government is keen to hear about the ways NAFTA has been beneficial to Canadian business, as well as the ways it could be improved. Issues relevant to the consultation team include:

  • Facilitating employment opportunities and labour mobility
  • Removing regulatory barriers to market access, including foreign protectionist measures over certain industries
  • How changes to NAFTA may impact supply chains, and ways to improve access to goods and services
  • Whether current regulations protect or support your business
  • How NAFTA can benefit small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Modernizing the agreement by as adding provisions specific to key areas, such as e-commerce, transparency and anti-corruption

Assistance with identifying how changes to NAFTA may impact you and your business

Consultations are open until July 18, so anyone potentially impacted by NAFTA should share their views. If there are aspects of the agreement that are particularly beneficial or restrictive, this is an opportunity to bend the ear of the negotiation team, and have your voice heard.

Every industry will be impacted by changes to NAFTA. The cross-border specialists at Feigenbaum Tax Law have the expertise to review your unique circumstances and how this could impact your business or interests. We can also assist with preparing a response to the Government of Canada as part of this consultation process.

Contact us online, or call our office toll free at (877) 275-4792 to make an appointment.

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