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US Trade Reps Say Streamlined Border Among NAFTA Wish List

The U.S. is looking to automate and streamline customs and border procedures among a list of objectives that it has for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The negotiation objectives were released on July 17 by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The 18-page document asks for “automation of import, export, and transit processes” as well as “reduced import, export, and transit forms, documents, and formalities [and] enhanced harmonization of customs data requirements” for goods crossing the border.

The document also contains broad language surrounding the transparency of laws and border regulations, along with autonomy for each NAFTA member in determining and enforcing its own laws and regulations.

The U.S. is also seeking to change the way disputes are resolved.

Last week, the Canadian Trucking Alliance submitted its comments to Global Affairs Canada to help frame Ottawa’s discussions with the US involving the modernization of cross-border trucking in upcoming NAFTA trade negotiations.

The submission covers eleven areas of interest involving NAFTA, cross-border transportation and international commerce, including: in-transit truck moves, cargo pre-clearance, government investment at ports of entry, harmonization of security programs, the trend in rising cross-border fees, the movement of food products and related inspections, e-commerce, among many other issues.

NAFTA renegotiations are set to begin as early as August 17.

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