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Round Four Of NAFTA Talks End

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

18 October 2017


Negotiators from Canada, Mexico, and the US have concluded the fourth round of talks on the renegotiation of NAFTA.

The round took place in Virginia, from October 11-17. According to a trilateral statement, the round covered seven full days of discussions in nearly 30 groups.

The three parties have now substantially completed discussions on the chapter on competition, and negotiators also made progress on customs and trade facilitation, digital trade, good regulatory practices, and certain sectoral annexes.

Initial text proposals have now been put forward. The statement said that new proposals have created challenges, but it did not explain what either the proposals or the challenges are. It said that ministers discussed the "significant conceptual gaps" among the parties, and called upon negotiators to "explore creative ways to bridge these gaps."

With this in mind, Canada, Mexico, and the US intend to allow for a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round begins, so that all proposals can be assessed. The statement said that negotiators will continue intersessional engagement.

The fifth round will be held in Mexico from November 17-21. Additional negotiating rounds will be scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | export duty | trade treaty | Mexico | agreements | Canada | United States | import duty | trade

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