U.S. NAFTA Proposal on E-Commerce Ruffles Canada, Mexico

The U.S. has proposed several changes to the NAFTA trade accord and one of its proposals involving e-commerce has met with concern from neighbors to the north and south. The Office of the United States Trade Representative recently released a summary of its objectives for NAFTA renegotiation and it has proposed that Canada and Mexico raise the duty-free import limits on e-commerce purchases from $20 and $50, respectively, to $800.

Mexico fears raising the limit will provide low-cost Asian products a back door into the country that will hurt Mexican businesses and Canadian trade officials are worried that low-cost goods available from U.S. online retailers will undercut homegrown businesses, according to a Reuters report. Neither country has formulated an official position, the report said, but both have indicated they are leaning toward rejecting the e-commerce proposal.

“We can’t open the door to inputs from outside the region coming in tax-free when we’re talking about the need to reduce the deficit and create jobs,” said Moises Kalach, a negotiator for Mexico’s  business lobby Consejo Coordinator Empresarial, told Reuters. “It goes completely against that.”

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