TPP Trade Official: U.S. To Seek New Market Access From Canada, Not Mexico
Submitted by Janet Eaton on Sat, 2012-07-14 17:05
Inside U.S. Trade - 07/06/2012 SAN DIEGO--A U.S. trade official this week said the U.S. plans to seek new market access commitments from Canada in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations once that country joins the negotiations, but not from Mexico because it has already fully opened its market to the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "We have actually a comprehensive agreement already with Mexico, so there's not new market access that we would be seeking because we already have 100 percent coverage," the official said in a July 2 press briefing. In contrast, the U.S. does not have "100 percent coverage so we would be seeking new market access opportunities from Canada," the official said. For example, in the NAFTA, Canada did not fully open its agriculture market in contrast to Mexico and maintained the restrictions on imports of dairy and poultry that were part of the U.S.-Canada FTA negotiated in 1989. As a result, there is no trilateral NAFTA agriculture chapter, but separate U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada agriculture agreements. The official reiterated that the U.S. plans to engage in market access negotiations in the TPP only with countries with which the U.S. has fully implemented the market access commitments of bilateral FTAs. This means USTR does not plan to engage in goods negotiations with Australia, for instance, because the tariff cuts in the U.S.-Australia FTA are still being phased in (Inside U.S. Trade, June 22).