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USTR Lighthizer Welcomes Start of NAFTA Round 4, Announces New Developments

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today marked the beginning of the fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations being held in Arlington, VA. During this negotiation round, officials will cover over two dozen negotiation topics. Building on the progress of NAFTA round three and the close of a chapter on Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have now closed the chapter on Competition.

“I am pleased to welcome back Secretary Guajardo, Minister Freeland, and their teams to continue negotiations here in Washington,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Thus far, we have made good progress, and I look forward to several days of hard work.”

The new NAFTA Competition Chapter substantially updates the original NAFTA and goes beyond anything the United States has done in previous free trade agreements. The United States, Canada, and Mexico have agreed to obligations providing increased procedural fairness in competition law enforcement so that parties are given a reasonable opportunity to defend their interests and ensured of certain rights and transparency under each nation's competition laws. 

In an extension of previously announced dates, the negotiating round will now be October 11-17 to allow additional time for negotiations. Ambassador Lighthizer looks forward to welcoming Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal for ministerial meetings and a trilateral press event on October 17. The press event is open to members of the media who have obtained a NAFTA Round 4 press credential; event information will be available to them in the coming days. 

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