Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies and helps exporters of all sizes do business across borders, is encouraged that the objectives for modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) released by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today cover many of the issues proposed in USCIB’s submission last month. But the group said some of the objectives leave out references to key business priorities such as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson said: “The fact of the matter is that a great many businesses base their success on increasingly seamless integration of the North American trading space. U.S. negotiators need to start from the premise that three-way trade and investment among the NAFTA partners should be enhanced, not restricted. A modernization effort must include strong investment protection provisions, including effective ISDS. We encourage USTR to maintain an intensive dialogue with affected U.S. stakeholders, including business, as they flesh out more detailed objectives, strategies and priorities.”
Last month, USCIB released its priorities for NAFTA modernization, calling on the administration to update the 23 year-old pact to accommodate new realities in global commerce, including the rise of the digital economy, while keeping what works from the original agreement.
USCIB urged the administration to update and strengthen key NAFTA provisions, including the liberalization and protection of investment flows, protection of intellectual property, customs and trade facilitation, regulatory cooperation, and improved agricultural market access. It also recommended tackling new areas not included or anticipated in the original agreement two decades ago, such as the digital provision of goods and services, data localization requirements, and state-owned enterprises.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
Tel: +1 917 420 0039