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NAFTA Commission Joint Statement Released"

Following the April 3, 2012 meeting of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Commission, trade representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada released a Joint Statement regarding the discussions and progress made during this meeting.

Per a press release issued by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Commission "discussed ways to enhance competitiveness, expand exports and spur growth among small- and medium-sized businesses in the three countries." In addition to these continued discussions, specific outcomes of the meeting included:

- The Working Group on Rules of Origin (WGRO) agreed on a fourth set of changes to the NAFTA rules of origin. The WGRO was also instructed to begin work on a fifth set of changes to the rules of origin, including for areas of interest that were not covered under the fourth set of changes.

- An agreement to pursue closer sectoral cooperation to enhance trade in chemicals, beginning with exploring work on rules of origin, customs procedures and classification.

- Plans for Canada to engage stakeholders in consultations regarding the possibility of joining the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Global network.

- Release of "The NAFTA Certificate of Origin: Frequently Asked Questions" publication which is designed to answer basic questions about completing that form.

The full text of the Joint Statement can be accessed online at:

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2012/april/joint-statement-2012-nafta-commission-meeting

The U.S. Trade Representative press release is available at:

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2012/april/us-trade-representative-ron-kirk-concludes-meeting-n

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