The United States is calling for its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners to limit restrictions and make it easier for its companies to compete in their telecommunications markets. As part of the United States\u2019 NAFTA renegotiation objectives, released\u00a0Monday, the office of the United States trade representative outlined the need for more open access to Canadian industry, including pledges to make conditions of cross-border service exchanges \u201cfair and open.\u201d It follows a\u00a0consultation\u00a0to modernize the free trade agreement, in force since 1994. When it comes to telecommunications, the document demands a \u201ccompetitive supply of telecommunications services by facilitating market entry through transparent regulation and an independent regulator.\u201d Further, it asks that there be \u201creasonable network access for telecommunications suppliers through interconnection and access to physical facilities and scarce resources.\u201d Canada currently has restrictions on foreign ownership\u00a0rules\u00a0for the telecom industry, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)\u00a0recommended\u00a0in 2016 that those restrictions be loosened to enhance\u00a0competition. In a 2014 report, the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) called for the elimination of these barriers. Martin Masse, an expert at the MEI, said in an email the resulting competition of those obligations would lower prices and bring faster access to some services to consumers. Similarly, for digital goods, the U.S. is asking for rules to be established that would ensure that NAFTA countries do not implement measures that restrict cross-border data flows and do not require the \u201cuse or installation of local computing facilities.\u201d Commenters have previously expressed concern about rules requiring data be stored locally in the country a business is operating in, with some saying it would be financially unfeasible. The Internet Association, which represents companies such as\u00a0Amazon.com Inc.,\u00a0Facebook Inc.\u00a0and\u00a0Netflix Inc., said in its submission to the consultation that market access restrictions and other barriers \u201climit the growth of these companies." Negotiations between countries can begin after Aug. 16, which is 90 days after the start of the\u00a0consultation period as required by U.S. law. Tuesday was the final day for Canadians to submit their written submissions for the domestic consultation.