The NAFTA Free Trade Commission met in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. According to a joint statement from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Canada’s Minster of International Trade Edward Fast and Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy Bruno Ferrari – trade among the NAFTA countries more than tripled from 1993 to 2011 – reaching one-trillion dollars. The leaders not only celebrated this achievement – but also agreed on actions to expand trade and investment, reduce administrative costs and further strengthen North American competitiveness. Kirk, Fast and Ferrari agreed to introduce timely and tangible regulatory measures to enable innovation and growth while ensuring high standards of public health, safety and environmental protection.
The Joint Statement also notes that the Working Group on Rules of Origin has reached agreement on a fourth set of changes to the NAFTA rules of origin. They say the changes will further facilitate the free trade among the countries. Annual trilateral trade in these goods is approximately 135-billion dollars. The leaders intend to undertake their respective domestic procedures for consultation in order to implement the changes as quickly as possible. Plus – they have instructed the working group to begin work on a fifth set of changes.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership was also discussed. The U.S. welcomed the interest of Canada and Mexico in joining TPP – stating that it provides an opportunity to further deepen the trade relationship and create jobs.