The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations will take place in Montreal from January 23-28. Ahead of this round, there seems to be increasing optimism that all three parties will come to the table ready to resolve outstanding issues. Investor-state dispute settlement, supply management in dairy, sunset provisions, and Chapter 19 continue to be persistent issues in negotiations. Negotiators have expressed that they would like to conclude negotiations by the end of March in order to provide ample time ahead of Mexico’s presidential election in July.
The United States and South Korea formally began to renegotiate KORUS this week on January 5 with meetings in Washington, DC. During the discussions industrial issues remained central, including talk of automotive tariffs, rules of origin, and non-tariff issues regarding the transportation sector in Korea, including safety standards affecting U.S. market access for cars and trucks. The Trump administration is pursuing discussions outside the normal trade promotion authority process through a mechanism in KORUS called a special Joint Committee meeting.