CUSLI Experts' Roundtable Report on 'Canada-United States Relations - Looking Forward'.

AuthorMarki, Gabriella
PositionProceedings of the 42nd Canada-United States Law Institute Annual Conference: Back to the Future: The Canada-United States Relationship at a Crossroads

ABSTRACT: On November 14, 2018, the Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) hosted an expert panel discussion on the subject of "Canada-United

States Relations--Looking Forward" at the offices of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Washington, D.C.. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that is projected to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The panelists examined the negotiations leading up to USMCA and evaluated its similarities and differences vis-a-vis NAFTA. (1)

TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Similarities & Differences Auto Sector Rules of Origin Section 232 National Security Tariffs.. Non-Market Economy Trilateral Institutions III. Conclusion I. INTRODUCTION

On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created a free trade zone between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. NAFTA reduced import tariffs for many eligible manufactured goods in conjunction with reductions accorded to other countries when the United States entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. At the time of its conclusion, NAFTA applied to more than $1.2 trillion worth in trade between the three partner countries. However, as time went on, the United States perceived that it was being treated unfairly under NAFTA in certain respects and sought to create a new trade agreement between the North American countries. Thus, negotiations for a replacement to NAFTA began and eventually culminated in conclusion and signature of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in November 2018.

The panelists characterized the new agreement's negotiations as a balance involving strong national interests with a mutual commitment to modernize NAFTA and rectify its shortcomings in an era of intensive globalization. While the United States, Canada, and Mexico entered the negotiations with different points of view, they all shared a commitment to modernize and improve the postNAFTA agreement and to ensure that the result benefited all parties involved. Prior to this, leaders in all three countries held the common understanding that NAFTA would not reopened due to its sensitive nature. Instead, modernization of trading arrangements in North America would be pursued through negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which the United States withdrew from in 2017. U.S. withdrawal from the TPP necessitated a return to a more limited trilateral negotiation between the three countries in 2017-2018.


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