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Monthly Nafta Update: FRIDAY, AUGUST 31st: NAFTA 2.0 D DAY

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press conference on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 stated the possibility of reaching a deal on NAFTA 2.0 by the end of the week if it is deemed a good deal for Canada. This announcement comes just days before President Trump’s Friday, August 31st, 2018 deadline.

Unfortunately for Canada, Mexico and the United States were able to reach a bi-lateral agreement earlier this week that gave ground on several of Canada’s top issues. One key issue remaining is Canada’s long-standing supply management system, which heavily subsidizes and protects the country’s dairy market to the dismay of US farmers. It is rumored that Canada may increase access to dairy markets for US farmers in exchange for the preservation of the dispute-resolution mechanism.

An agreement on NAFTA 2.0 couldn’t come sooner for NAFTA professionals across North America concerned for the status of their professional visas. Of particular concern is the status of working groups and the appendix (16.03.D.1) list of professionals from the 1990’s which includes professionals such as lawyers, engineers, and architects. Unfortunately, this list has since become rather dated, with professions such as ‘computer system analyst’ becoming obsolete because of automation. This renders it difficult for professionals, and their immigration lawyers, to fit their current job titles within the outdated list. It also leaves too much discretionary power for Border officers reviewing applications to both the United States and Canada. For example, ‘management consultants’ are notoriously getting rejected left, right and center as reported by members of the Canada-US immigration law community.  Véronique Malka, CKR Law’s mobility expert and Co-Chair of the Global Mobility Group, has long been a proponent of updating the list of professions. Ideally, NAFTA 2.0 will address the mobility of NAFTA professionals, not just trade issues.

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