Chapter 19 of NAFTA was a trade litigation mechanism that subjects anti-dumping and compensatory tariff (AD/CVD) rules to binational panel review or conventional judicial review.  In the United States, for example, review of decisions by authorities imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties is generally referred to the U.S. International Court of Commerce, a Section III court. However, the NAFTA parties were given the opportunity to appeal decisions against binational bodies made up of five citizens of the two NAFTA countries.  Participants were generally lawyers with experience in international commercial law. Since NAFTA did not contain physical provisions for AD/CVD, the panel was tasked with determining whether the final decisions of the agencies to which AD/CVD were parties were consistent with domestic national law. Chapter 19 was an anomaly in international dispute resolution because it did not apply international law, but required a body made up of individuals from many countries to review the application of a country`s domestic law. [Citation required] The NAFTA structure is expected to increase cross-border trade in North America and stimulate economic growth for stakeholders. Let`s start with a quick look at these two topics. U.S. trade deficits with Canada and Mexico have increased under NAFTA. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, “the U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA in 2009 was $67.7 billion, nearly $60 billion higher than the US$9.1 billion trade deficit with NAFTA in 1993.
NAFTA has boosted Mexican agricultural exports to the United States, which have tripled since the pact was implemented. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the automotive industry have also been created in the country and most studies [PDF] have found that the agreement has increased productivity and reduced consumer prices in Mexico. In addition, many economists argue that recent U.S. production problems have little to do with NAFTA and say that domestic production was under pressure decades before the contract. Surveys by David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson, published in 2016 [PDF], have shown that competition with China since 2001, when China joined the WTO, has had a much greater negative impact on U.S. employment. Hanson, an economist and trade expert at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), says the biggest decline in manufacturing employment – between 17 million and 11 million between 2000 and 2010 – is mainly due to trade with China and underlying technological changes. “China is at the top of the list in terms of the impact on employment that we have seen since 2000, with technology being second and NAFTA much less important,” he says. Supporters have capped NAFTA because it has opened up Mexican markets to U.S. companies like never before. The Mexican market is growing rapidly, which promises more export opportunities, which means more jobs.
However, proponents have struggled to convince the American public that NAFTA would do more good than harm. Their main efforts have been to convince citizens that all consumers have as wide a choice of products at as low a price as possible, which means that consumers would be the main beneficiaries of lowered trade barriers.