NAFTA renegotiations offer chance to diversify — Legal Feeds

Aug. 14, 2017

Osler partner Riyaz Dattu says the ambiguity surrounding the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could provide an opportunity for Canadian businesses to diversify their ties to international markets, and that Canada could emerge from NAFTA talks “stronger, with a better trade agreement,” according to Legal Feeds. In her article, Gabrielle Giroday examines the upcoming NAFTA talks and outlines the implications for Canadian companies. Riyaz, who specializes in international trade and investment law, says the talks could potentially impact a wide range of clients, including those involved with supply chains.

“They may want to have a back-up plan in case negotiations don’t quite go the way we would like them to go,” Riyaz tells Legal Feeds.

“NAFTA’s been around for 23 years, so a number of manufacturers have supply chains that rely on sourcing products from within NAFTA.”

Riyaz also tells Legal Feeds that Canadian businesses can leverage the period of uncertainty as the NAFTA talks commence “to focus on trade initiatives and business exports in other markets, E.U. and Asia in particular.”  

In particular, Riyaz says the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will be coming into force September 21, 2017.

“There’s a great opportunity. . .corporate lawyers and others need to point out to their clients that there are other export markets that they should be paying attention to, and the CETA is a great opportunity for Canadians to diversify their trade away from the United States,” Riyaz tells Legal Feeds.

Riyaz also says the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be revived, without the U.S., which Canadian businesses should be mindful of.

“And again, that’s an opportunity that lawyers need to point out to their clients, in terms of diversifying trade and diversifying their business outreach to Asia,” Riyaz says.

For more information, read Gabrielle Giroday’s article “NAFTA renegotiations offer chance to diversify” in Legal Feeds, the blog of Canadian Lawyer & Law Times.