Report Indicates NAFTA Withdraw Could Trigger Legal Fight

Date: March 12, 2019

Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report on March 5 that examines the options in the face of a potential withdrawal from the current North American Free Trade Agreement. Specifically, CRS addressed:

  • the President’s authority to terminate international obligations without congressional approval;
  • if the President can terminate obligations under NAFTA unilaterally; and,
  • if the NAFTA Implementation Act would remain in effect if the President successfully terminates our obligations under the agreement.

The report’s analysis illustrated the challenges of being able to definitively answer all of them conclusively. For example, if the president withdraws from NAFTA after giving the parties the required six-month notice, it is possible that an industry group or business citing harm could seek an injunction. Furthermore, even if the president successfully terminated U.S. obligations, CRS indicated that the NAFTA Implementation Act would likely remain in effect unless Congress moved to repeal it.

MEMA has been the leading voice on issues impacting the North American supply chain, the renegotiation of the agreement and now the ratification phase of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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