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

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

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

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

Synopsis

"This book examines what is arguably the most critical and controversial issue of the 1989. Free Trade Agreement signed by the United States and Canada: dispute settlement mechanisms. Debates over this issue have sharpened as the number and intensity of trade disputes have risen due to increasing international competition. More and more groups are calling for the United States to adopt trade policies that will counter the "unfair" practices of foreign governments. Others argue that such policies will jeopardize the success of NAFTA and skew world trade systems. Andrew D. M. Anderson explores this central debate, considering whether the United States will accept international agreements on the mechanisms to settle trade disputes or will resort to the "strong arm" of its political system. His careful and detailed analysis surveys the development of dispute settlement mechanisms, discusses the expectations of the countries that have agreed to them, and evaluates whether the mechanisms are being successfully implemented. Drawing comparisons to the successes and, more important, to the failures of the present GATT accord, Anderson finds that the role of the United States - and its degree of willingness (or unwillingness) to accept the dispute settlement apparatus - has significant ramifications for future, broader agreements on resolving international trade disputes. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to stay current with NAFTA debates, including policymakers, political scientists, economists, and specialists on international trade." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The replacement of tariff barriers with non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade, combined with the increasing globalization of international business during the 1980s, has complicated the development and implementation of Canadian trade and industrial policy in the 1990s. Canada by the mid-1980s was facing what it perceived as the increasing abuse of the U.S. administrative "unfair" trade law mechanisms against Canadian-based firms, particularly those dependent on manufactured resource-based exports to the United States. International economists and other trade experts have also contended that many U.S.-based firms during the 1980s learned to use that country's "unfair" trade law mechanisms as a legal means for denying entry at reasonable prices to a variety of foreign competitors. This problem was specifically addressed in Canada by a Royal Commission set up to examine the competitiveness of the Canadian economy (Canada 1985d). The Macdonald Commission, as it was colloquially known, concluded that

U.S. trade policy is created and applied through political and legal processes which decentralize decision-making power and enhance the political influence of relatively small and narrowly based interest groups such as unions and trade associations. The most notable examples of this fragmentation of power within the U.S. system are the legal mechanisms that afford producers contingent protection from import competition. These mechanisms usually involve countervailing duties, anti-dumping duties and emergency protection for U.S. producers suffering serious competitive injury from imports (302-3).

The report went on to note that . . .

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