SBA Office of Advocacy Wants Your Opinion on NAFTA

Date: June 23, 2017

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Deadline to apply for working group on international trade agreement is July 14

Whether or not your company trades with Canada or Mexico, the federal government would like to know more about how the North American Free Trade Agreement affects you.

From the Region IX Phoenix office of U.S. Small Business Administration:

“Interagency Working Group on NAFTA Modernization Seeks Small Business Stakeholders; Respond by June 30, 2017

“The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 gave the Office of Advocacy a new responsibility—to assess the potential economic effects of future trade agreements on small businesses in the manufacturing, services, and agriculture industries.*

“To do this, the law requires Advocacy to convene a working group of key government agencies whenever a new trade agreement is being negotiated. The modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), announced on May 18, signaled the first time that an interagency working group would get underway.

“On June 14, Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy Major Clark III convened the interagency working group in a meeting with officials from six agencies with trade responsibilities (the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, and State; and the Small Business Administration). The working group will examine NAFTA’s positive and negative trends for small entities and identify top priorities, opportunities, and challenges of NAFTA for small businesses. The law requires the working group to issue their report by mid-December. (This deadline could be extended under certain circumstances.) 

“The working group is currently assembling a diverse group of small business stakeholders who will provide their views to the working group. Advocacy is interested in hearing from small businesses that currently trade with Canada and Mexico, as well as small business that do not. Advocacy estimates that selected small business stakeholders should expect to dedicate between 20-40 hours to reviewing materials and providing feedback to the working group.

“The law requires the stakeholder group to be identified by July 14, 2017. To inquire about participating as a small business stakeholder in the interagency working group, contact Assistant Chief Counsel Rosalyn Steward by phone or email. Her contact information is [email protected] or (202) 205-7013.”

*Pub. L. No. 114-125, § 502, 130 Stat. 122 (2016); 15 U.S.C. § 634c.

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