RTA DISPUTES - NORTH AMERICA
1. Canada-U.S. FTA (1988-1993), Chapter 18
(1) Canada’s Landing Requirement for Pacific Coast Salmon and Herring: Final Report Oct. 16, 1989 (Canadian landing requirement that replaced GATT-inconsistent export restrictions on certain fish). Outcome: landing requirement modified pursuant to bilateral agreement, 1990; modified landing requirement is still in effect as of June 2017 (Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993 (SOR/93-54), sec. 17-18)
(2) Lobsters from Canada: Final report May 21, 1990 (US ban on interstate transportation or sale of whole live lobsters smaller than a minimum size). Outcome: Panel report upheld US law; later negotiations discussed in William Davey, Pine & Swine: Canada-US Trade Dispute Settlement: the FTA experience and NAFTA Prospects (1996), p. 48-49
(3) Article 304 and the Definition of Direct Cost of Processing or Direct Cost of Assembling: Final report June 8, 1992 (US rule that did not allow certain non-mortgage interest payments to count toward meeting the CUSFTA rules of origin). Outcome: US changed its practice (Davey, p. 52). CUSFTA rules of origin were superseded by the NAFTA rules of origin.
(4) The Interpretation of and Canada’s Compliance with Article 701.3 with respect to Durum Wheat Sales: Final report Feb. 8, 1993. US claimed that Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) sales of durum wheat for export to US violated CUSFTA Art. 701.3 ban on government entity selling products for export at a loss (i.e., at a price below the acquisition price of the goods, plus storage, handling and other costs incurred in respect of those goods). Panel rejected US interpretation of Art. 701.3. Outcome: parties agreed to audit which found that 102 of 105 CWB export sales to US in 1989-92 were consistent with Art. 701.3. Canada later agreed to restrict 1994-95 durum wheat exports to US. (Davey, p. 52-57)
(5) Puerto Rico Regulations on the Import, Distribution and Sale of UHT Milk from Quebec: Final report June 3, 1993. (Milk standards in Puerto Rico)
2. NAFTA (since 1993), Chapter 20
NAFTA Secretariat main dispute settlement page on disputes under NAFTA and CUSFTA, including overview of NAFTA dispute settlement provisions, status report on panel proceedings, list of Panel Decisions and Reports, and Roster Members (currently only for Chapter 19, not Chapter 20). Panel reports:
(1) Tariffs applied by Canada to Certain U.S.-Origin Agricultural Products: Final Report Dec. 2, 1996 (Dispute brought by U.S. against Canada’s maintenance of tariff-rate quotas on certain dairy and poultry products after full tariff elimination; relationship between CUSFTA chapter on agricultural trade, Uruguay Round tariffication of agricultural import quotas, and NAFTA). Outcome: panel found no breach by Canada. Tariffs on dairy and poulty imports remain in place.
(2) U.S. safeguard action taken on broom corn brooms from Mexico: Final report Jan. 30, 1998 (Dispute brought by Mexico regarding application of global safeguard action on broom-corn brooms to imports of such brooms from Mexico). Outcome: panel found safeguard action in breach.
(3) Cross-Border Trucking Services, Final report Feb. 6, 2001 (Dispute brought by Mexico; panel found U.S. breach of NAFTA commitment to permit operation of Mexican trucking firms in four U.S. border states). After U.S. Congressional action terminating pilot program for Mexican trucking, on March 19, 2009 Mexico announced suspension of NAFTA concessions (increase in tariffs to MFN levels) on imports of 90 products from United States.
Other matters settled or abandoned after consultations but before panel proceedings: Uranium Exports (U.S. v. Canada, 1994); Import Restrictions on Sugar (Canada v. U.S., 1995); Restrictions on Small Package Delivery (U.S. v. Mexico, 1995); Restrictions on Tomato Imports (Mexico v. U.S., 1996); Helms-Burton Act (Mexico and Canada v. U.S., 1996); Mexican Rebalancing for U.S. Safeguard on Broom-corn Brooms (U.S. v. Mexico, 1996); Restrictions on Sugar Imports (Mexico v. U.S., 1998); Farm Products Blockade (Canada v. U.S., 1998), Bus Service (Mexico v. U.S., 1998); Sportfishing Laws (U.S. v. Canada, 1999); Restrictions on Potatoes (Canada v. U.S., 2001).
3. Canadian Free Trade Agreement (since July 1, 2017) and earlier Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)
On July 1, 2017, the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement entered into force between its parties (the Canadian Federal, provincial and territorial governments). The CFTA covers almost all areas of economic activity such as goods, services and energy, dealing with trade, regulatory barriers and government procurement. Any exceptions are clearly identified. The CFTA provides for future negotiations on financial services and trade in alcoholic beverages. It provides for dispute avoidance and resolution under Chapter Ten.
The CFTA succeeds the Agreement on Internal Trade, which provides for disputes under Chapter 17, including (1) government-to-government disputes between the AIT Parties (Federal, provincial and territorial governments), and (2) person-to-government disputes brought by a person of a Party against another Party. Person-to-government disputes may only be brought if the person has been notified that a Party will not bring a dispute on its behalf (or will not seek a panel) and they are subject to an expert screening procedure. The AIT main dispute resolution page includes statistics and summaries of the disputes brought under the AIT (58 as of October 2017), the roster of panellists, screener reports, and the following panel reports or participants submissions.
- Report of Article 1716 Panel Regarding the Dispute between Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. and Alberta Regarding Beer Mark-ups: Panel decision submitted August 28, 2017 and appealed by Alberta; appeal pending.
- 16/17 – 10 BEER: Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. v. the Government of Alberta (Participant Submission)
- Report of Article 1706.1 Appeal Panel Regarding the Dispute between Saskatchewan and Québec Concerning Dairy Blends, Dairy Analogues and Dairy Alternatives
- Appeal Panel Regarding the decision of the Dispute between Saskatchewan and Québec Concerning Dairy Blends, Dairy Analogues and Dairy Alternatives. (Participants submissions)
- Report of Article 1703 Panel Regarding the Dispute between Saskatchewan and Québec Concerning Dairy Blends, Dairy Analogues and Dairy Alternatives.
- Saskatchewan v Québec re: Edible Oil Products, Dairy Blends and Dairy Analogues (Participants submissions)
- Crane Operator certification: Private person from Quebec v. Ontario
- Report of Article 1703 Panel Regarding the Dispute between Manitoba and Ontario Concerning Ontario’s Notice of Measure with respect to Public Accountants (2012)
- Report of Article 1702(2) Summary Panel Regarding the Pre-Existing Dispute Concerning Ontario’s measures Governing Dairy Analogs and Dairy Blends (2010)
- Dispute Between the Certified General Accountants Association of New Brunswick and Quebec Regarding Quebec’s Measures Governing the Practice of Public Accounting (2005)
- Dispute Between Alberta and Quebec Regarding Quebec’s Measure Governing the Sale in Quebec of Coloured Margarine (2005)
- Dispute Between Alberta / British Columbia and Ontario Regarding Ontario’s Measures Governing Dairy Analogs and Dairy Blends (2004)
- Dispute Between Alberta and Canada Regarding the Federal Bank Act – Cost of Borrowing (Banks) Regulations (2004)
- Dispute Between Farmers Co-Operative Dairy Limited of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Regarding New Brunswick’s Fluid Milk Distribution Licensing Measures (2002)
- Dispute Between the Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba and Ontario Regarding the Public Accountancy Act (R.S.O., 1990, Chapter P-37) and Regulations (2001)
- Dispute Between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Regarding Amendments to the Dairy Industry Act Regulations (2000)
- Dispute Between Alberta and Canada Regarding the Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act (1998)