The industry association says the proposed TPP and CETA can be held up as examples to modernize NAFTA, but also that solutions which address the unique relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are necessary
TORONTO—Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has released its wish-list for the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations between the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. governments.
Canada’s largest industry association, which represents the interests of manufacturers across the country, has identified four main priorities it believes need to be followed in the talks to come.
1. Do No Harm to the Business Environment
CME points to the deeply integrated nature of North America’s manufacturing sector and the way in which each NAFTA member leverages this integration to flourish; something it deems worth preserving.
2. Eliminate Barriers to Trade within NAFTA
The industry association says removing remaining trade barriers between NAFTA members will improve operational efficiencies, decrease the cost of doing business and enhance global competitiveness for all involved. CME says a crucial part of this process is strengthening internal trade facilitation rules, such as customs processes and regulatory alignment between member countries.
3. Modernize and Expand the Agreement
CME argues that an agreement which covers more sectors and products, eliminates investment barriers and leverages opportunities created by technological advances will stimulate growth and prosperity for all of the agreement’s signatories.
4. Leverage NAFTA for Common Approaches to Trade with Outside Countries
CME says a coordinated approach is required to deal with mutual threats from unfair trade practices from outside the NAFTA region.
The association says that to accomplish these goals, elements of CETA and the proposed TPP agreement can be used as a framework for modernizing NAFTA but at the same time stresses the unique nature of Canada’s relationships with the U.S. and Mexico, asserting that it is also necessary to explore mechanisms that go beyond advances made in other trade agreements.
Beyond CME’s broad-brush priorities, it has laid out a number of specific recommendations which it believes will improve the agreement: