Seeking Common Ground: Canada-U.S. Trade Dispute Settlement Policies in the Nineties

Article excerpt

Seeking Common Ground: Canada-U.S. Trade Dispute Settlement Policies in the Nineties, by Andrew D.M. Anderson. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1995. Pp. 313. $59.95 (hardcover).

In Seeking Common Ground, Anderson examines trade "dispute settlement mechanisms" (DSM) in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The book addresses the origin of DSMs, their intended goals, and their success in achieving these goals when implemented. The author also discusses whether the United States will adhere to international DSM agreements or turn to more unilateral methods. Finally, Anderson compares the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Canada-U.S. FTA, and the NAFTA in the context of the aforementioned issues.

The author begins with a discussion of two approaches to trade policy, the "strategic trade policy" theory and the "shelter" strategy. He then analyzes U.S. trade policy in the context of these doctrines. Chapter two examines the anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing dumping (CVD) GATT-based actions available to private firms in the United States and Canada, and discusses the role these actions play in global protectionist policies.

Chapter three chronicles recent instances in which U.S. firms used the AD and CVD trade systems, and their bias in favor of U.S. firms. Anderson argues that the U.S. trade policy-making process has become too politicized, and that U.S. firms have used administrative agencies to disrupt foreign competition.

Chapter four compares GATT DSMs to more recent mechanisms for U.S.-Canadian dispute resolution under the Canada-U.S. FTA, and discusses whether the goals driving the dispute mechanisms will be achieved by such DSMs. This discussion is followed, in chapters five and six, by a case-by-case analysis of appeals in the AD and CVD DSM system under the Canada-U. …