The Canadian government is requesting feedback relating to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In particular, the government is asking for the public’s “views on the key areas in NAFTA that could be clarified or updated, and on any new areas that should form part of a modernized agreement.”

Treaty/Act:        North American Free Trade Agreement

Date:                Consultation period from June 3 – July 18, 2017  

Opportunity for pharmaceutical patent reform

The NAFTA consultation is an opportunity to address concerns with respect to Canada’s patent regime under the Intellectual Property chapter (Chapter 17).  The United States has placed both Canada and Mexico on its IP “Watch List” over the years.  Specific to Canada, the United States has expressed a number of serious concerns regarding Canada’s patent regime, including: (i) the lack of clarity in Canada’s “utility” standard, and the interpretation of the “promise doctrine”; and (ii) the availability of appeal rights from administrative regulatory decisions of pharmaceutical patents.

How to provide written submissions

Interested parties are invited to provide written submissions to Global Affairs Canada ( by July 18, 2017.  Submissions should include: (i)  the contributor’s name/organization; (ii) the specific issue addressed; and (iii) precise information on the rationale for the positions taken, including any significant impact they may have on Canada’s domestic or international interests.  Any submissions will be considered as public information.


Consultation Notice:  Canada Gazette, Volume 151, No. 22

NAFTA Consultation Website:  Consulting Canadians on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico

Current Text of NAFTA

United States Trade Representative 2017 Special 301 Report