Four Key Principles to Preserve and Expand the Benefits of NAFTA

May 1, 2018

Trade between the United States and our NAFTA partners — Canada and Mexico — supports thousands of jobs in every state and 11 million jobs nationwide. As the Trump Administration works to modernize and strengthen this agreement for the future, here are four key principles and several policy solutions to help preserve and expand NAFTA’s benefits for U.S. workers, businesses and communities:


1. Strengthen Fairness and Trade Enforcement

  • Strengthen intellectual property protections and incorporate stronger labor and environmental protections.
  • Preserve investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions to ensure fair treatment of U.S. companies.
  • Ensure fair competition with foreign state-owned and controlled enterprises.


2. Create a Level Playing Field for Digital Trade

  • Promote e-commerce and digital trade in goods and services.
  • Eliminate foreign barriers, for all sectors, to the free flow of data and requirements to store data locally.


3. Bring Outdated NAFTA Rules into the 21st Century

  • Encourage modern and streamlined customs rules and processes to facilitate trade, such as electronic forms, signatures and authentication; secure online payments; and an increase in the de minimis levels in Canada and Mexico.
  • Incorporate trade, investment and related regulatory reforms adopted in Canada and Mexico since NAFTA was negotiated.


4. Expand Market Access for U.S. Businesses and Remove Unnecessary Trade Barriers

  • Secure greater access to Canadian and Mexican markets for America’s small- and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Eliminate remaining barriers to trade in goods and services and investment and build on NAFTA rules and commitments to ensure coverage of new types of services.

For more information on important policy priorities to expand the benefits of NAFTA, please click here.