NAFTA Update: Canada and Mexico
Canada: In many ways Canada and the USA have similar programs, procedures and administrative policies in place that govern cross-border trade. But the worst mistake you can make in dealing with your Canadian transactions is to presume the rules are in fact the same. Simply applying your US knowledge to your commercial transactions with Canada is a dangerous thing. It takes more than a tweak or two to ensure your trade complies with Canadian laws and regulations.
Whether your interest is direct (acting as a non-resident importer in Canada) or indirect (avoid getting your Canadian clients in trouble), you have a stake in getting it right. In this session you will hear and learn from an experienced attorney about some of those important differences and how to navigate your way around them. Topics discussed during this session will include:
- What are the key government agencies and institutions that look after cross-border trade in Canada?
- What are the principle rules that you should be familiar with and where should you look to find the answers?
- What are Canada’s FTAs and how can an American company benefit from them?
- Related-party transactions : what are the basics of dealing with your Canadian affiliate?
- Recent Canadian court cases of interest : who got in trouble lately and what can be learned from them?
Mexico: If you ever find yourself in trouble for assuming Canada rules are similar to the ones in the United States, wait until you see Mexico’s rules. Between 1994 and 1995, only a year after NAFTA became effective, Mexico had amended more that 75 percent of its legislation governing trade and customs related issues. During this time, various groups within the country argued that Mexico should not be part of NAFTA because there was a huge difference between the economic, political and regulatory landscapes in Mexico and Canada/United States - this goes without even mentioning the cultural mindset and language issues.
Today, more than 20 years later, the United States government wants to re-negotiate or possibly leave NAFTA altogether arguing that this treaty harms the United States’ economy.
Whether it is one thing or the other, the above brings a remarkable uncertainty for companies on how to deal with potential effects that may arise. The majority of companies receiving preferential duty reduction treatment under NAFTA may have engaged themselves in long term contracts that bind them to comply with its terms and conditions such as prices and costs, among others.
During this session, we will discuss:
What can companies expect in a situation like this?
How can companies deal with existing purchasing or supplying contracts affected by NAFTA?
Can American companies benefit from other FTAs signed by Mexico?
If the United States leaves NAFTA, can Mexican Customs still implement NAFTA origin verifications to an American company?
Presenters: Jean-Marc Clement, Clement Law Office
Brenda Cordova, Braumiller Law Group