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Canada, the U. S. and Mexico began talks on a North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA) in Toronto on June 12, 1991. This agreement is an ambitious undertaking covering major sectors of the three economies, from agriculture to telecommunications. It will result in a free trade area made up of more than 360 million consumers, with a yearly output of nearly $7 trillion - larger than the European Community. Financial services are among those sectors to be addressed under the NAFTA. The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) supports the idea of an agreement to ensure continuing liberalization of trade in the financial services market.
Our interests in these negotiations have two main goals: to gain entry into the Mexican financial services market and to improve access to the United States market by building on the benefits gained under the Canada-u.s. Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Canadian banks would like the opportunity to establish full financial services operations in Mexico - whether through the start up of new operations or by acquiring existing institutions. In the U.S. market, at a minimum, Canadian banks would like to see the removal of existing restrictions on affiliations between banks and securities firms, as well as on the barriers to interstate banking. The Mexican market
Canadian banks have a long-standing history in Mexico dating back to the turn of century, and would like the opportunity to build on this friendship and to participate more fully in the large and growing Mexican market.
Currently, Canadian banking activities in Mexico are severely restricted because foreign banks are limited to the establishment of representative offices which cannot offer a full range of services (with the exception …