The State Of NAFTA Negotiations

March 27, 2018

Recently President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The announcement raised questions about the prospect of successfully renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. Both countries export steel and aluminum to the US, and while they have been granted a temporary exemption, it remains unclear how the tariffs will ultimately impact the negotiations.

What does all of this mean for eBay? NAFTA was written in a world before ecommerce really existed - it went into effect a year before eBay even existed! eBay users conduct a lot of cross border trade with Mexico and Canada, and it’s important that policies make it easier – not harder – for that trade to happen. One issue that may be addressed in the agreement is how ecommerce purchases are taxed and processed at the border. Right now, the dollar value of goods that qualify as low value, or “de minimis,” that can be sold across borders without additional taxes and duties being assessed is artificially low in both Canada and Mexico. This makes it hard for buyers in those countries to purchase goods from eBay sellers in the US, and makes returns difficult on both sides of the border for buyers. Our team is engaged with legislators and trade officials in trying to raise these levels and make them more consumer friendly.

The eBay GR team will continue to monitor NAFTA negotiations closely and share any pertinent updates with our eBay Main Street audience.