Politico | 1 March 2017
Chemical industry outlines priorities for new NAFTA
By Megan Cassella
Any renegotiation of NAFTA should include streamlined customs procedures and greater regulatory cooperation among other priorities, say the leading chemical industry associations for the U.S., Canada and Mexico in a joint statement issued today.
Thanks to NAFTA, the trade of chemicals between the three nations more than tripled between 1994 and 2014, but any steps to further ease trade across the border by aligning regulatory procedures and upgrading infrastructure and transportation logistics would also help boost innovation and growth, the American Chemistry Council, Chemical Industry Association of Canada and the Mexican Chemical Industry National Association say.
Other priorities for the industry include: the facilitation of digital trade and cross-border data flows; the setting of key standards on things like practices of state-owned enterprises; and the closing of "inefficiencies" on areas including rules of origin.
Most importantly, the groups add, a modernized NAFTA should maintain the duty-free status chemical products currently have under the agreement.
“A modernized NAFTA has the opportunity to set a global precedent as a model for a risk- and science-based approach to chemical regulation," the statement says.
"At a time when the use of hazard-based approaches is rising elsewhere, the North American region has an opportunity to play a leadership role in demonstrating the value and practicality of chemical regulatory approaches that ensure the protection of human health and the environment without imposing unnecessary costs or erecting unnecessary barriers to trade."