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 CanadaFinal 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 CUSFTA rules of origin were superseded by the NAFTA rules of origin.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 proceedingslist 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.  Canada Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), Chapter 17 Dispute Resolution Process

    AIT main dispute resolution page on disputes under Chapter 17 of the AIT: includes statistics and summaries of the disputes brought under the AIT (58 as of June 2017),  the roster of panellists, screener reports, and the following panel reports or participants submissions. Chapter 17 provides for disputes between the parties to the AIT (provinces and Federal government) and also provides that a person of a Party  may commence dispute resolution proceedings where the person has received notice that a Party will not initiate dispute resolution proceedings on its behalf, or will not seek a panel.