NAFTA Round Two About to Begin
A second round of NAFTA renegotiation talks will convene in Mexico September 1, the first round having been completed in mid-August in Washington. The second round is scheduled through September 5.
The first round covered five full days of meetings by a team of subject matter experts covering more than two dozen different negotiation topics. Detailed conceptual presentations were made by the United States, Mexico, and Canada across the scope of the agreement, and negotiating groups began work to advance text and agreed to provide additional text, comments or alternate proposals during the following two weeks.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading the US delegation at the NAFTA talks, while Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo represent their respective countries.
The scope and volume of proposals during the first round of the negotiation reflects a commitment from all three countries to an ambitious outcome and reaffirms the importance of updating the rules governing the world’s largest free trade area.
In addition to the negotiations, officials from all three countries continued to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of the private sector; industry associations; civil society, including labor groups; legislative representatives; and state/provincial officials.
Negotiators from each country continued domestic consultations and work to advance negotiating text through the end of August, before reconvening for a second round in Mexico.
Negotiations are expected to continue at this rapid pace, moving to Canada in late September and returning to the US in October, with additional rounds being planned for the remainder of the year.