Law Roundtable

Law Roundtable

Exploring the region between Law and Economics.

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October 22, 2018, 1:30 pm, 1910065

October 22, 2018, 12:04 pm, 1910032

October 22, 2018, 10:22 am, 1909994

When your boss leaves do you throw a party or cry under your desk? It all depends on the boss, but either way, be prepared. This is ...

October 22, 2018, 8:34 am, 1909958

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October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909713

Mexican trade negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos tweeted this:

#Mexico stated from the beginning of the negotiation that the ideal scenario is for #NAFTA to remain trilateral. We hope the US and Canada will conclude ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909711

In a side letter to the U.S.-Mexico agreement that is part of the NAFTA renegotiation, it appears that the U.S. has agreed that if it imposes tariffs on auto imports pursuant to Section 232, a certain amount of Mexican auto imports will be exempt. (You could also think of this ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909714

This is from Inside US Trade:

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach told reporters during that call that while she thinks “public citizens” would prefer no ISDS language in the North American Free Trade Agreement at all, the U.S.-Mexico deal “can be widely supported, especially after the domestic ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909712

This is a guest post from Marcin Menkes, Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Law at Warsaw School of Economics:


“So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.”

―Padmé Amidala

    A long time ago, in a hemisphere far, far away …

    War! The multilateral order and the ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909717

As we have talked about on this blog, the Safeguards Agreement provides for compensation/suspension where safeguards measures are used. Here is Article 8.1:

A Member proposing to apply a safeguard measure or seeking an extension of a safeguard measure shall endeavour to maintain a substantially equivalent level of concessions and other ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909718

This is from Janyce McGregor of the CBC:

The preliminary trade agreement the U.S. recently reached with Mexico may offer a glimpse of what could happen with NAFTA's Chapter 11.

A U.S. official said the two countries wanted ISDS to be "limited" to cases of expropriation, bias against foreign companies or failure to ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909716

This is a guest post from Petros Mavroidis:

This time it is different. It is difficult to say how serious it is, but it is different. President Trump’s trade policy is a decisive turn towards unilateralism followed by bilateral deals.  This combination is a blow to the multilateral edifice ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909715

This is from the Law Faculty of Maastricht University:

The Law Faculty of Maastricht University will be hosting a colloquium on 17 December 2018, focusing on a key challenge facing the international trading system, namely the rapidly eroding trust in trade liberalisation and economic integration, as embodied in the rules of the ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909709

From the White House:

Joint Statement of the United States and Japan

1.  On the occasion of our Summit Meeting in New York on September 26, 2018, we, President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, affirmed the importance of a strong, stable, and mutually beneficial ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909704

As part of a quest to find the most obscure aspect of the new NAFTA, I point you to the scope of non-violation claims. This is from the new NAFTA:

Article 31.2: Scope

1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the dispute settlement provisions of this Chapter shall apply:


(c) when a Party considers ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909710

This is from the dispute settlement chapter of the Modernisation of the Trade part of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement:

Article X.5

Composition of a Panel

1. A panel shall be composed of three panellists.    

2. Within [X] days from the date of receipt of the written request for the establishment of ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909705

Article 32.10 of the new NAFTA says:

Article 32.10: Non-Market Country FTA

1. At least 3 months prior to commencing negotiations, a Party shall inform the other Parties of its intention to commence free trade agreement negotiations with a non-market country. For purposes of this Article, a non-market country is a country that ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909703

This is a guest post from law prof Kathleen Claussen:

The USTR fact sheet released in late August previewed that the USMCA labor provisions would be the “strongest of any trade agreement.”  To evaluate this statement, rather than look at the agreements in force or the status ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909708

The text of what is being called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been released. It would be much easier to call this agreement NAFTA, rather than some unwieldy new name that someone thought was preferable for public relations purposes. We'll see what practice develops here. I will ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909707

As has been expected, in the new NAFTA deal, the Trump administration has significantly scaled back the investment protection/ISDS provisions, which are now found in Chapter 14. One way to think about what happened is that there is no more general recourse to ISDS, but there are three ways ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909706

Inu and I had a recent article in which we explained how NAFTA Chapter 20 state-state dispute settlement hasn't been working because of problems with appointing panelists (in large part because the roster of panelists was not filled). It doesn't look like this article made much of an impression ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909698

This is a guest post from Risa Schwartz, a sole practitioner based in Canada focussing on the intersections between international trade and investment law and Indigenous rights (@risaschwartzlaw,

The United States-Mexico-Canada agreement includes a new provision for the protection of the rights of  Indigenous peoples.  This exception, found in ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909697

The chapter on "Good Regulatory Practices" (Chapter 28) was concluded early on in the NAFTA renegotiations, but until last week there were a lot of unanswered question as to what it would include. On first read, it appears that this chapter goes beyond anything we've seen so far in similar ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909699

This is a question from an Inside US Trade reporter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer:

Q Yeah. Thank you, Ambassador. My name is Anshu, with Inside U.S. Trade. ... And then in a broader sense, on the use of 232, the President sort of said that he made the "economic security is national ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909702

The original NAFTA withdrawal provision, Article 2205, said this:

A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the remaining Parties.

The new NAFTA withdrawal provision, Article 34.6, adds a ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909696

This is from Inside US Trade: 

In addition to the cultural carveout, [Jesús] Seade, [the chief NAFTA negotiator for Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador], touted the USMCA’s dispute settlement system, particularly Chapter 20 state-to-state dispute resolution, along with the deal’s provisions for small and medium-sized enterprises and those pertaining to ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909701

Back in 2001, a NAFTA Chapter 20 panel ruled that certain U.S. restrictions on Mexican trucking services violated U.S. commitments under the NAFTA. Implementation of this ruling by the U.S. has seen some stops and starts. The new NAFTA clarifies and limits the U.S. obligation:

Notwithstanding Annex I-US-8, the ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909700

This is from the ANZSIL International Economic Law Interest Group:



The ANZSIL International Economic Law Interest Group (IELIG) was established in 2011 to provide a forum for those interested in international economic law, especially international regulation of trade, investment, intellectual property, and monetary law. The work of ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909693

This is from the Managing Editor of the student-run journal Trade, Law and Development:

Founded in 2009, the philosophy of Trade, Law and Development has been to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in international economic law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909690

This is from a new paper by former Canadian government official Rob McDougall:

the Appellate Body could be given the authority to decide which appeals, or which parts of appeals, to hear (certiorari), based on broadly defined circumstances such as when panel reports risk creating inconsistency, demonstrate evidence of manifest legal error, involve matters of ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909689

In response to the recent post by Nicolas and the subsequent comments, as well as some twitter and email exchanges on the issue, I wanted to offer a few thoughts on the role of WTO exceptions in the context of non-violation claims.

To state the obvious, WTO obligations are not relevant ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909695

This is a guest post from law professor Nicolas Lamp:

There is no doubt that, over the past year, trade officials in WTO Members have spent countless hours agonizing over the appropriate response to Trump’s national security tariffs on steel and aluminium. They have come up with a ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909691

PluriCourts Annual Workshop on The Political and Legal Theory of International Courts and Tribunals 2019:

Multilevel Separation of Authority - Autonomy and International Courts

June 24-26, 2019, University of Oslo

Deadline: 1 December, 2018


Call for Papers

PluriCourts announces a workshop that brings together scholars of philosophy, political theory and legal theory who study ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909694

This is from Gujarat National Law University:

Gujarat National Law University is glad to inform you that preparations are currently underway for yet another edition of the GNLU International Moot Court Competition (GIMC). The 11th edition of the GIMC is scheduled to take place from February 13-17, 2019 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat (India). The ...

October 21, 2018, 8:08 am, 1909692

The Editorial Board of the Journal of International Economic Law is seeking papers for a forthcoming special issue on ‘Trade Wars’, planned for publication in late 2019.

This special issue seeks to take stock of the current trade wars, provide an explanation of their causes and conditions of possibility, and offer ...

October 21, 2018, 6:43 am, 1909678

October 21, 2018, 3:51 am, 1909668