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Navigating US Trade Uncertainty: A Practical Guide for Atlantic Firms

September 26, 2018

APEC’s new guide, Navigating US Trade Uncertainty: A Practical Guide for Atlantic Firms, was completed on behalf of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and is intended to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Atlantic Canada navigate several challenges they face in selling to US clients and to help them prepare for different potential outcomes from the ongoing renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Atlantic firms have reported several trade challenges such as getting goods and business people across the US border,” says guide author Fred Bergman, APEC’s Senior Policy Analyst. “Even if a new trade agreement is reached, it may not resolve all of these long-standing issues.”

“The uncertainty over the renegotiation of NAFTA has been a big issue for Atlantic Canadian businesses, causing some to put their investment plans on hold,” says Bergman. “While negotiations continue, the timing and outcome remains uncertain.” Studies show that almost half of SMEs in North America use NAFTA preferential tariff treatment for North American trade yet only a fraction have contingency plans in place. APEC’s guide helps Atlantic firms think through potential outcomes and impacts and highlights key topics to watch for in any new agreement.

“Changes to NAFTA have the potential to seriously impact the bottom lines of many Atlantic Canadian businesses, in a time when we need to be focused on curating an environment for growth,” said Sheri Somerville, CEO, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. “We are extremely pleased the Atlantic Chamber was able to have a leading organization like APEC develop a practical guide for us to help Atlantic businesses navigate any U.S. trade uncertainty that might impede growth prospects or new commercial opportunities.”

APEC’s guide provides advice and resources on several tariff and non-tariff issues, including:

  • How to prepare for and manage NAFTA renegotiation risks, including the potential for higher US tariffs
  • When and how to apply for preferential NAFTA tariff treatment
  • Resources to help minimize difficulties moving goods across the US border
  • How to mitigate challenges with temporary entry of business persons into the US
  • How to access US procurement opportunities and navigate Buy America/Buy American policies
  • The pros and cons of setting up an operation in the US
  • Key factors to consider if diversifying to non-US markets
  • Provincial and federal trade contacts and additional resources and guides

Publication Files

September 26, 2018

Navigating US Trade Uncertainty: A Practical Guide for Atlantic Firms



Pour bien gérer les incertitudes entourant les relations commerciales avec États-Unis - Guide pratique pour les enterprises du Canada Atlantique



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