FREDERICTON (GNB) – As Canada, the United States and Mexico prepare to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the provincial government wants to hear how the agreement affects New Brunswickers and their interests.

“NAFTA has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the Canadian economy and, indeed, has been an important contributor to why New Brunswick enjoys such a healthy and positive trading relationship with the United States,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for trade policy. “That is why, as Canada enters this period of renegotiation, our government wants to hear from New Brunswickers on how they think the agreement could be improved to best suit today’s global economy and reflect New Brunswick’s interests.”

On May 18, the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to begin negotiations to modernize the agreement. The first round of formal negotiations involving the three countries began on Aug. 16 in Washington.

New Brunswickers interested in providing input on the agreement’s modernization are encouraged to do so in writing. Melanson will also be consulting stakeholder groups in the coming months.

“Not only is the United States our biggest customer, it is our most reliable customer due in large part to the existence of trade rules such as NAFTA,” said Melanson. “I am looking forward to meeting with those New Brunswick industries that trade with the United States and Mexico to ensure their voice is heard. Our ultimate goal is to certify that New Brunswick’s position continues to be reflected in the agreement as we work with the Government of Canada as the negotiator.”  

Suggestions on improving NAFTA may be submitted by email at ALENA-NAFTA_Consultation@gnb.ca.