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Legal Guide


The North American Free Trade Agreement (the “NAFTA”) defines Canada’s most comprehensive trading relationship. It complements and expands upon the overriding international trade rules established under the WTO and governs trade relations as between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The NAFTA was built upon the framework of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement by adding Mexico to the trading area, creating new specialized rules of origin and content requirements, ensuring protection for intellectual property rights, and linking environmental and labour market regulation to trade issues. The NAFTA also facilitates the trading relationship by providing privileged access to each member’s country by business and professional persons.

Although the NAFTA covers many areas of trade and investment, the bulk of the Agreement is focused on trade in goods. Rules of origin particular to the NAFTA are established for each specific good. These rules ensure that preferential tariff treatment is only accorded to goods wholly produced, substantially transformed or whose major component is produced in the free trade area, inducing economic activity within the area.

In addition to dealing specifically with trade in goods, the NAFTA also addresses trade in services, customs procedures and specific obligations related to such matters as energy, the automotive sector, agriculture, textiles, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, intellectual property and investment. Further, the Agreement provides preferential status for NAFTA parties in anti-dumping and safeguard proceedings. In addition, Chapter 19 of the NAFTA contains a mechanism for private parties involved in anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, to bring a party’s decision in front of a bi-national review mechanism. NAFTA’s Chapter 11 contains investment rights and protection for investors from both discrimination and government measures that are tantamount to expropriation. This Chapter provides rights that are enforceable by investors directly through international arbitration.

Additional posts from the blog

Nov

12

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – New Guidance on Offering Apps, Software

by Margot Patterson

CASL also prohibits installing a “computer program” – including an app, widget, software, or other executable data – on a computer system (e.g. computer, device) unless the program is installed with consent and complies with disclosure requirements. The provisions in CASL related to the installation of computer programs will come into force on January 15, 2015.

May

02

Environment Canada issues Hydrofluorocarbon reporting requirement

by Nalin Sahni

On April 7, 2014, the Minister of the Environment issued a Notice with respect to hydrofluorocarbons (the “Notice”), pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The Notice imposes reporting requirements on those who imported, exported, or manufactured certain hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) from 2008 and 2012. A non-exhaustive list of HFCs subject to these reporting requirements can be found in Schedule 1 of the Notice.

Apr

17

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

by Andy Pushalik

In an interesting decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that an employer is not liable for discriminatory and harassing texts sent by a rogue employee to another of its workers.



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