Rules and rules that are not compatible with international agreements, international standards or established practices may hinder the compliance costs of EU exporters. Controversy over the provisions of the Treaty on the Application of Environmental Protection remained high in the late 1990s. North American trade interests have tried to weaken a major NAFTA agreement on environmental protection and enforcement. This agreement – one of the few provisions welcomed by environmental groups allows groups and ordinary citizens to criticise Member States for not enforcing their own environmental laws. A three-country environmental cooperation commission is tasked with investigating these allegations and disclosing public reports. “This process is slow, but the embarrassment factor has proven surprisingly high,” Business Week noted. Since 2005, the U.S. government has opposed NAFTA revisions. But the Canadian government and many companies in the three countries continue to work to amend this agreement. Mexico has agreed not to restrict market access to Mexico for U.S. cheeses with certain names. Mexican officials opened the negotiations by proposing to deploy their new National Guard troops against migrants and used a PowerPoint presentation to show their American counterparts that this would be a breakthrough in their ability to prevent migrants from crossing Mexico, often on buses. For other products, for example, the agreement will bring new access to the important market within annual borders: the EU considers that the inclusion of an investment judicial system in its trade agreements is a step towards the higher objective of creating a public court for international investment: some small businesses have been directly affected by NAFTA.
In the past, large firms have always had an advantage over small businesses, as large firms could afford to build and maintain offices and/or production sites in Mexico, which avoided many of the old trade restrictions on exports. In addition, pre-NAFTA legislation provided that U.S. service providers who wanted to do business in Mexico had to establish a physical presence there, which was simply too expensive for small businesses. Small businesses were stuck, they could not afford to build, and they could not afford export tariffs either. NAFTA eliminated the competitive conditions by giving small businesses the opportunity to export to Mexico at the same costs as larger firms and removing the requirement that a company establish a physical presence in Mexico to do business there. The lifting of these restrictions meant that large new markets were suddenly open to small businesses that had previously done business only in the United States. This was considered particularly important for small businesses that produced goods or services that had matured in the U.S. markets. As a general rule, the agreement will prevent the EU or Mexico from discriminating against each other`s service providers.
The agreement will be concluded: the United States, Mexico and Canada have also agreed on new trade provisions in certain production sectors, including information and communication technologies, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics and chemicals. Each of these annexes contains provisions that go beyond NAFTA 1.0 and the TPP and promote better regulatory compatibility, best regulatory practices and stronger trade between countries. And the new agreement will allow the EU and Mexico to discuss with civil society a number of issues such as human rights, including: the modernised agreement should make it easier to export to other people`s markets and to invest in markets by organising, as part of the current evaluation, several workshops to gather input from stakeholders.