South Texans Asked to Weigh in on NAFTA


South Texans Asked to Weigh in on NAFTA

Comments on 17 topics on the modernization of NAFTA are being accepted through June 12.
Comments on 17 topics on the modernization of NAFTA are being accepted through June 12.

17 Topics make up NAFTA input

In light of an intent by the federal government to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) is asking stakeholders in South Texas to submit comments on the modernization of NAFTA.

“Since its inception 25 years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a vital part of our relationship with our North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico,” says Gonzalez.

On May 18, the current administration formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA. This notification triggers a 90-day period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico can begin. As part of the 90-day process – and in an effort to hear from citizens – the administration has published a Federal Register Notice soliciting public comments on the renegotiation. Per the FRN, the administration seeks comments on general and product-specific negotiating objectives, as well as comments on specific provisions.

“South Texas’ economy is directly tied to international markets and changes to the terms of this agreement have a direct effect on our region,” says Gonzalez. “I encourage all stakeholders in the 15th District to take advantage of this important opportunity and make their voices heard during this renegotiation process.”

Comments on 17 topics that will help inform the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations. Topics include digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, and services. Also, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Comments must be submitted no later than June 12. Following the comment period, a public hearing will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

For more information on how to submit comments, visit the Office of U.S. Trade Representative website.