United States: Trump Administration Seeks Renegotiation of NAFTA

Renegotiations would not have an immediate impact on the TN program or other U.S. immigration programs under NAFTA, but could lead to changes in the future.

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Apr 28, 2017

The Trump Administration is reportedly seeking swift renegotiation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after earlier indications Wednesday that it was considering an order to withdraw the United States from the trade pact with Canada and Mexico. Renegotiations are not expected to have an immediate impact on U.S. NAFTA-related immigration programs, but could lead to changes in the immigration provisions of the trade agreement in the future.

U.S. immigration programs under NAFTA include the TN category for Canadian and Mexican professionals, streamlined procedures for Canadian and Mexican L-1 intracompany transferees, and broader permissible activities for Canadian and Mexican B-1 business visitors. The Trump Administration's plans for these programs are not yet clear, nor is the impact of a renegotiation on reciprocal Canadian and Mexican programs. It is not certain that the immigration provisions of NAFTA would be altered in a renegotiation.

The timing of a NAFTA renegotiation is not yet known, but could take several months or more. The White House is reportedly asking Congress to pass legislation that would allow for fast approval of a renegotiated agreement.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Renegotiations are not expected to affect Canadians or Mexicans currently admitted in TN, L-1 or B-1 status or those applying in the near term. However, because changes are possible, your organization should work with its Fragomen professionals to stay apprised of NAFTA developments. It may be prudent to identify current employees working in a NAFTA-related immigration category in the United States, Canada or Mexico and assess alternatives in the event that renegotiations limit those programs in the future.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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