1. What is the NAFTA?

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a regional agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America to implement a free trade area.

    Article 102 of the NAFTA states that:

    "[t]he objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles and rules, including national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment and transparency, are to:

    1. eliminate barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services between the territories of the Parties;

    2. promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;

    3. increase substantially investment opportunities in the territories of the Parties;

    4. provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in each Party's territory;

    5. create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this Agreement, for its joint administration and for the resolution of disputes; and

    6. establish a framework for further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement."

    The Parties endeavour to fully implement these objectives by 2008.

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a regional agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America to implement a free trade area.Article 102 of the NAFTA states that:"[t]he objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles and rules, including national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment and transparency, are to: The Parties endeavour to fully implement these objectives by 2008. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a regional agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America to implement a free trade area.Article 102 of the NAFTA states that:"[t]he objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles and rules, including national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment and transparency, are to: The Parties endeavour to fully implement these objectives by 2008.

  2. What is the NAFTA Secretariat?

    The NAFTA Secretariat is an independent agency that is responsible for the impartial administration of the dispute settlement provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It has a Canadian, a Mexican, and a United States Section, each headed by a national Secretary, and with offices in each national capital. The Secretariat is accountable to the NAFTA Free Trade Commission, which comprises the ministers responsible for international trade in the three NAFTA partner countries.

    For more information on the Secretariat's mandate.

  3. When was the NAFTA signed?

    The NAFTA was signed at:

    Ottawa, on the 11th day and the 17th day of December 1992,

    Mexico, D.F., on the 14th day and the 17th day of December 1992,

    Washington, D.C., on the 8th day and the 17th day of December 1992.

  4. When Did the NAFTA enter into force?

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico entered into force on January 1, 1994.

  5. What is dumping?

    Dumping is the sale of goods in foreign markets at prices below those charged for comparable sales in the home market or that are below the cost of producing the goods.

  6. What is antidumping ("AD")?

    An antidumping duty is a special levy imposed on imported merchandise to protect an affected domestic industry from injury caused by sale of dumped goods in the importing country.

  7. What is subsidy?

    Generally, subsidy occurs when imported goods benefit from foreign government financial assistance.

    Examples of subsidies include: loans at preferential rates, grants, tax incentives, or a provision of goods or services by a government at prices below market levels.

  8. What is a countervailing duty ("CVD")?

    A countervailing duty is a special duty imposed on imported merchandise to protect a domestic industry from injury caused by subsidized imports from other countries.

  9. What is injury?

    Injury is caused by dumped or subsidized imports resulting in lost sales, reduced prices, lost market share, decreased profits, and other such difficulties for the injured industry.

  10. Who may complain about dumped or subsidized goods?

    Injury is caused by dumped or subsidized imports resulting in lost sales, reduced prices, lost market share, decreased profits, and other such difficulties for the injured industry.

    For guidelines in preparing a written complaint, you may consult:

    Canada:

    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/sima-lmsi/

    U.S.A.

    http://ia.ita.doc.gov/admanual/index.html

    http://ia.ita.doc.gov/filing/index.html

    Mexico:

    (To be provided)

  11. What is an investigating authority?

    "Investigating authority", means the competent authority in each nation that issues final determinations relating to antidumping and countervailing duties. At the option of an interested party, the final determinations of an investigating authority may be challenged before a NAFTA panel to determine its consistency with domestic legislation and the NAFTA Agreement.

    In Canada, final AD and CVD determinations are made by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and final Injury determinations are made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).

    In the U.S., final AD and CVD determinations are made by the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the Department of Commerce and final Injury determinations are made by the International Trade Commission (ITC).

    In Mexico final AD, CVD and Injury determinations are made by the Secretaría de Economía, Unidad de Prácticas Comerciales Internacionales.

  12. What is a final determination?

    Final determinations are definitive decisions made by investigating authorities under their domestic antidumping and countervailing duty laws. Specifically, final determinations are made pursuant to the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) in Canada, to the Tariff Act of 1930 in the United States, and to Article 131 of the Mexican Constitution and certain other laws in Mexico.

    For Country-Specific Definitions refer to Annex 1911 of the NAFTA.

  13. How can final determinations be appealed?

    A final determination may be appealed to a domestic court pursuant to the judicial review process of the country or to a binational panel by filing a Request for Panel Review with the responsible section of the NAFTA Secretariat.

  14. Who can file a request for panel review with the NAFTA Secretariat?

    Any person named on the service list maintained by the investigating authority in their proceeding and who would be entitled to appear and be represented in a judicial review pursuant to the laws of the country in which the final determination was made.

    For guidelines on filing a request for panel review, please consult the Rules of Procedures for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews on this site.

  15. Who are panel members?

    Panelists are chosen from rosters of experts established by the Parties in each NAFTA country. Panelists must be of high standing, good character, objective, reliable, and have sound judgement and general familiarity with international trade law. The majority of members of a panel, including the Chair, must be lawyers.

  16. How long does the NAFTA dispute settlement process take?

    Under Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews, the rules are designed to result in decisions within 315 days after the commencement of the panel review.

    Extraordinary Challenge Committee proceedings are to result in decisions of committees within 105 days after the commencement of the proceeding.

    Article 2008 arbitral panel review is designed to result in reports of panels within 150 days after the commencement of the proceeding.
For matters referring to NAFTA Certificate of Origin, Temporary Work Visas, Tariff Schedules and Chapter 11 disputes, please refer to "Links".