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Home Policy Articles: International Trade, Development & Finance: North American Free Trade Agreement


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Bad Medicine: Trade Treaties, Privatization and Health Care Reform in Canada popular

Jim Grieshaber-Otto and Scott Sinclair examine a central and recurring theme in Canada’s health care debate: whether private financing and for-profit delivery of health care should play a greater role. They contend that exploring Canada’s international trade-treaty obligations as well as the scope of exemptions for health care under those treaties, add a critical dimension to this important debate.

"Free Trade:" Is it Working for Farmers?

Darrin Qualman’s article “Free Trade:” Is it Working for Farmers? argues that free trade agreements have dramatically altered the relative size and market power of players in the agri-food production chain. While Canadian agri-food exports have experienced dramatic increases since the institution of free trade agreements, realized net farm income has remained stagnant. Qualman claims free trade has two effects on agriculture: 1) it turns the world into a single hyper-competitive market, and 2) it facilitates agribusiness mergers and conglomeration.

At Risk: How the Federal Government’s Deregulation Agenda Threatens Health and Environmental Standards

Lee and Campbell examine the question: Is there really an economic case to be made for deregulation?

Back to Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: Energy, Trade and the Demise of Petrochemicals in Alberta

This paper by Terisa Turner and Diana Gibson deals with Canada's loss of control over her energy resources since the signing of NAFTA. The study focuses on the Celanese petrochemical plant in Alberta which was forced to shut down production in search of a less expensive production location. The authors find connections between the closure, the unstable price of natural gas, the inaction of the Alberta government and energy provisions in NAFTA. Turner and Gibson also discuss possible solutions to the problems that they believe NAFTA has created in the energy sector.

Back to Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: Energy, Trade, and the Demise of Petrochemicals in Alberta

According to Terisa Turner and Diana Gibson, Canadians question why Canada traded its energy sovereignty with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Beyond Zero Sum: Trade, Regulation and NAFTA's Temporary Entry Provisions

In this paper, Allison Young analyzes the provisions among the NAFTA signatories which govern the temporary entry of business persons.

Canada's Secret Constitution: NAFTA, WTO and the End of Sovereignty?

In Canada’s Secret Constitution: NAFTA, WTO and the End of Sovereignty?, Stephen Clarkson examines the effect of international treaties on Canada’s domestic policy. Treaties, Clarkson asserts, internationalize part of a state’s legal order.

Canada-US Regulatory Co-operation: Charting a Path Forward

This report by Andre Downs and Doug Blair concern itself with Canada-US trade regulation and the ways in which it may effect both economies. First Downs and Blair look at bi-lateral co-operation agreements and what was required to make them successful. Next, the report considers the potential negative impact of regulatory regimes on productivity and economic growth. Finally, the report examines specific sectors that would benefit from a more co-operative regulation scheme.

Deeper, Broader: A Roadmap for a Treaty of North America

This paper is part of a book-length publication, edited by Courchene, Savoie and Schwanen, which contains papers that were presented at the “Art of the State” Conference, hosted by the IRPP and held in October 2003. This conference featured experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States who came together to explore new ideas, new instruments and new processes for enriching the North American experience. The main goal of the conference was to remedy gaps in public discourse, while at the same time understanding how three sovereign nations could advance common causes and manage their increasing interdependence.

Free Trade and Canada: 15 Years Later

This paper, written by Daniel Schwanen, was written in the context of the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (also known as the FTA), which largely formed the basis of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Schwanen argues that both of these agreements must be viewed vis-à-vis the broader trend towards the increased liberalization of global trade, investment, and services, and the movement of people, following the Second World War, coupled with technological changes affecting transportation and communications.

From Deep Integration to Reclaiming Sovereignty: Managing Canada-U.S. Economic Relations Under NAFTA

In this report, Bruce Campbell examines the relationship between Canada and the US under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He notes that as the politicians, bureaucrats, think tanks and media pundits who brought us NAFTA push ahead with their deep integration agenda, they dismiss the agreement’s negative effects and deny its failed promises.

From Leaps of Faith to Hard Landings: Fifteen Years of "Free Trade"

Andrew Jackson evaluates the impacts of increased economic integration, from a Canadian perspective, between Canada and the United States. Specifically, Jackson examines the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in the context of the “great free trade debate” of the late 1980s.

From Public Good to Private Exploitation: Electricity Deregulation, Privatization and Continental Integration

Marjorie Griffin Cohen’s paper From Public Good to Private Exploitation: Electricity Deregulation, Privatization and Continental Integration argues the public provision of electricity is in a precarious position due to forces driving industry deregulation. Though Canada’s electricity industry remains largely publicly owned, Cohen believes the industry is invariably headed towards privatization.

FTAA: A Dangerous NAFTA-GATS Hybrid

On February 14, 2003 Canada publicly released its initial offer to cover services and investment under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Sinclair points out that Canada’s offer is merely a list of draft reservations copied (almost entirely verbatim) from Canada’s list of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reservations drawn up in 1994.

Fuelling Fortress America: A Report on the Athabasca Tar Sands and U.S. Demands for Canada’s Energy

The Athabasca tar sands in Alberta hold the largest hydrocarbon deposit ever discovered, containing an estimated 175 to 200 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Using newer technology, this number might increase to as much as 2.5 trillion barrels of oil.

Globalization and the North: Impacts of Trade Treaties on Canada's Northern Governments

The book’s introduction and summary are available in PDF format, however the entire book is available only from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Noel Schacter, Jim Beebe and Luigi Zanasi argue that Canada’s three northern territories are even more vulnerable than the provinces to the impacts of international trade treaties signed by Canadian federal governments.

Immigration: Mapping the New North American Reality

In this paper Meyers and O’Neil remind us that although the focus of North American integration is the movement of goods, people are an integral element of the equation.

Lessons from NAFTA: The High Cost of "Free Trade"

In this volume, researchers from all three NAFTA member countries – Canada, the United States, and Mexico – assess the agreement’s consequences for their respective countries. As the CCPA points out, the researchers found the consequences of NAFTA to be overwhelmingly negative.

Mapping the New North American Reality - Conclusion

This brief report serves as the conclusion to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration.

Mapping the New North American Reality: The Road Sector

In this paper Mary Brooks argues that on the trade front, NAFTA has been a huge success, yet road transportation has received inadequate attention despite the obvious and central role trucking plays in trans-NAFTA commerce.

Mexico: NAFTA and the Prospects for North American Integration

This article by Rogelio Ramirez De la O investigates President Vicente Fox’s vision of North American Integration and its demise following the terrorist attacks of the US on September 11, 2001. The author argues that Mexico must first concentrate on domestic reforms before pursuing integration. Reforms in fields such as energy and financial services, De la O contends, would lead to gradual, incremental integration with the rest of North America, not the “sudden and dramatic” integration of which Fox dreamed.

NAFTA as a Vehicle for Regulatory and Institutional Convergence in the North American Region

This brief report serves as the introduction to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration.

NAFTA Chapter 11 Investor-State Disputes

Scott Sinclair has compiled 39 investor-state disputes filed under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This information is compiled in chart form; Sinclair has organized each dispute into the following categories: date complaint filed; complaining investor; reason for complaint; NAFTA articles cited; amount claimed; and current status (as of January 1, 2005) of each claim. The first of the claims in Sinclair’s compilation span from March 4, 1996 to January 1, 2005.

NAFTA Chapter 19: A Successful Experiment in International Trade Dispute Resolution

This article by Patrick Macrory examines the role of the special binational panel permitted by Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a mechanism that Macrory argues has been quite effective in dealing with trade disputes between Canada and the United States – most of which relate to antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) actions. Macrory also contends that Chapter 19 has proven to be much more effective than legal processes in resolving such disputes.

NAFTA Rules of Origin

In this report Rober Kunimoto and Gary Sawchuk cconsiders some of the unexprected economic costs of further North American integration. As Kunimoto and Sawchuk explian this porcesss may be effected by other measures, such as most favored nation (MFN) status, which may make lower tariffs available. In this study they look at the factors that influance whether an importer will use MFN or NAFTA rules of oringin.

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