Quebec Studies

Working Document: Québec and the North American Free Trade Agreement

Quebec Studies (1993), 16, (1), 125–130.


Quebec Studies, No. 16, 1993 .WORKINGDOCUMENT: QUEBEC AND THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT [Extracts from the official position of the Quebec Government, “Quebec and the North American Free Trade Agreement,” 19921 Quebec’s Objectives and Conditions Respecting NAFTA Quebec’s Objectives The main objectives of NAFTA are consistent with Quebec’s concerns. Even before trilateral negotiations began, Quebec had pinpointed the five objectives that led it to suggest that Canada take part in the negotiations. The manner in which the objectives were achieved is outlined below. 1. Maintain the advantages conferred by the FTA With the conclusion of NAFTA, the advantages conferred by the FTA have not only been maintained but enhanced. Indeed, several aspects of the FTA have been improved, e.g. government procurement, drawbacks, services and the settlement of disputes. Rules of origin have been clarified and, in the textile and apparel goods industries, where they are more stringent, they have been accompanied by higher export tariff rate quotas . The exceptions advocated by Quebec, especially with respect to the cultural industries, have been maintained. 2. Preserve Ouebec’s position on the American market NAFTA preserves Quebec’s position on the American market, in that it stipulates that the United States may not treat Canadian and Quebec goods less favourably than Mexican goods or those from other countries located outside the free trade area. Moreover, NAFTA prevents the curtailment of access by Quebec goods and services to the United States. 3. Take advantage of the potential offered by the Mexican market In terms of goods, services and investment, NAFTA opens up the rapidly expanding Mexican market, without significant costs to Quebec other than those it has already assumed under the FTA. Mexico, which was keenly seeking greater access to the American market, has opened up its market to a much greater extent than it would had it negotiated exclusively with Canada, as various factors and interests are not of the same import as under a trilateral agreement. Under NAFTA, Canada and Quebec will obtain special access to

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