Quebec Studies, No. 16, 1993
.WORKINGDOCUMENT: QUEBEC AND THE
NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
[Extracts from the official position of the Quebec Government,
â€œQuebec and the North American Free Trade Agreement,â€ 19921
Quebecâ€™s Objectives and Conditions Respecting NAFTA
The main objectives of NAFTA are consistent with Quebecâ€™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
2. Preserve Ouebecâ€™s position on the American market
NAFTA preserves Quebecâ€™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
Under NAFTA, Canada and Quebec will obtain special access to