The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is accepting comments through September 4 on U.S. negotiating objectives with respect to the participation of Canada and Mexico in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. USTR will also hold a public hearing on this subject September 24 and has requested that the International Trade Commission provide its advice on the probable economic effects of including these two countries in the TPP.

USTR in the Federal Register notice states that comments and testimony may address the reduction or elimination of tariffs or non-tariff barriers on any articles provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States that are products of Canada or Mexico; any concession that should be sought by the United States; or any other relevant matter. Comments are particularly sought on the following issues that should be addressed in the TPP negotiations. These are:

  • Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of the removal of tariffs and the removal or reduction of non-tariff barriers
  • The treatment of specific goods (described by HTSUS numbers), including product-specific import or export interests or barriers, experience with particular measures, and approaches to tariff negotiations, including recommended staging and ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities
  • The adequacy of existing customs measures to ensure that qualifying imported goods from TPP countries receive preferential treatment
  • Existing sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade
  • Existing barriers to trade in services
  • Relevant issues concerning electronic commerce, trade-related intellectual property rights, investment, competition, government procurement, the environment and labor
  • How the participation of Canada and Mexico might affect new and emerging issues being addressed in the TPP, such as promoting innovation and competitiveness, encouraging new technologies and emerging economic sectors, increasing the participation of small and medium-sized businesses in trade, and supporting the development of efficient production and supply chains that include U.S. firms