NAFTA Second Round Ends With Unspecified “Important” Progress, Single Consolidated Text 06/09/2017 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ministers from Mexico, Canada and the United States concluded the second weeklong round of negotiations for an updated North American Free Trade Agreement in the past four weeks, and claimed progress on “important” issues and the shaping of a text with some 24 chapters. But the government officials offered no specifics to the public. “Today, we mark the conclusion of the second round of this historic negotiation,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a closing statement of the NAFTA talks held in Mexico City. “I am pleased to report that we have found mutual agreement on many important issues.” He said their work continues “at a record pace,” and that by the end of this round, “we will have tabled text for over two dozen chapters.” A trilateral closing statement said two dozen working groups made up of “trade experts and technical officials” worked all week and consolidated proposals into a single text upon which the teams will continue to work during subsequent negotiation rounds.” It was not clear who these dozens of experts and officials from each government were. “Important progress was achieved in many disciplines,” the over-vague trilateral statement said without naming any of the disciplines. These chapters “represent a new modern agreement which, once concluded, will support robust economic growth in North America for decades to come,” Lighthizer vowed. Lighthizer mentioned three priorities for the US: agriculture, services, and “innovative industries.” He also made another nod to US manufacturers, and said the agreement must benefit “all Americans, and not just some at the expense of others.” A trilateral statement from Lighthizer, Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called the second round, from 1-5 September, “successfully concluded.” The ministers said their countries will continue internal consultations at home until the next round, but it was not clear who will be consulted and how. Lighthizer reminded reporters that the deal’s renegotiation is a high priority for President Trump. But hanging over the talks with an unclear effect has been Trump’s threats to end the agreement and his actions impacting Mexicans in the US. Freeland was reported saying at the closing press conference that it is normal for the major sticking points to remain early in the negotiation, noting the talks are “accelerated”. It also has been reported that Mexico’s low wages are an issue in the talks. The goal of completing talks by year’s end is still alive, they said. The first round of talks took place in mid-August. The next round will be held in Ottawa from 23-27 September. Image Credits: Wikipedia Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."NAFTA Second Round Ends With Unspecified “Important” Progress, Single Consolidated Text" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.