Article 2021 of NAFTA maintains the restriction of the right of other parties in the NAFTA area to instigate actions under domestic laws against any one of the three Parties to the Agreement, just as was done under the Canada-U.S. FTA. Unless a party can convince its government to initiate cases against one of the other Parties to NAFTA, there is nothing that can be done. There is no equivalent to the European Court of justice in NAFTA. Once again NAFTA, much as the Canada-U.S. FTA, demonstrates little if any concern for expanding any welfare-enhancing effects of the free trade area beyond those that were added to this Agreement purely on the political power of those groups in the United States and in the other two countries, who were able to have their agenda included in NAFTA. The interest groups included, for example, associations and business interests representing sunset industries and organized labor in the United States; cultural industries in Canada; and environmentalists, particularly those in the United States. One has to ask where were the governments and their concerns for increasing the pace of adjustment in such areas as improving the social welfare of Mexicans and building an infrastructure to overcome the pollution problems along the Mexico-U.S. border. Overall, while listening to the voices of select interest groups, the Parties to NAFTA have ignored the much larger interests of the rights of consumers in their countries and have not allowed consumers to be able to directly question any of the Parties to the Agreement when the consumers do not receive the benefits promised under the Agreement.
There were more than twenty areas in which there was no substantive agreement in NAFTA negotiations or where a Party believed that there was likely to be disagreement in the future. These areas were parcelled off into six Working Groups and thirteen Committees and Subcommittees in order to discourage trade disputes from breaking out (Annex 2001.2). It could be argued that such a situation already occurred under the Canada-U.S. FTA, e.g., in the Honda and CAMI rules of origin disputes, which will now be covered under the Working Group on Rules of Origin and the Customs Subgroup in NAFTA. In addition, the inclusion in Chapter Five of the NAFTA rules on customs procedures has been designed to permit advance rulings by customs departments in the NAFTA area on whether or not the goods qualify under the Rules of Origin as North American goods. NAFTC is responsible for supervising the work of all the Committees and Working Groups established under the Agreement.
Overall, an examination of the trade DSM procedures available under NAFTA reveals little that is startling or particularly new or innovative. The original idea of binational dispute panels to settle AD and CVD as well as general trade disputes is carried forward from the Canada-U.S. FTA. The