Choice of Jurisdiction in International Trade Disputes: Going Regional or Global?


This article is a legal and policy analysis of two international trade disputes fora, namely the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), for countries that have standing in both jurisdictions, i.e., the United Mexican States, the United States of America, and Canada. Both fora are judicially compared from the perspective of the respondent and of the complainant, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each forum. The chosen time-frame of judicial analysis is between 1995 and 2001. The article concludes with two cases which may have been brought in either forum, Broomcorn and Canada – Patent Term, and recommends that, for the future, the Party concerned in international trade disputes would need to look at the factors compositely on a case-specific basis to determine whether a dispute should be brought under the WTO or the NAFTA.


International Trade Law

Date of this Version

September 2006