This report evaluates outcomes in the 54 complaints by Canadian exporters against U.S. trade authorities under NAFTA’s Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism. It finds that despite playing a prominent role in the end game of NAFTA renegotiations, Canada’s success using the Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism has been modest at best.
The report’s key findings include:
- Since 1994, Canadian exporters have succeeded in getting trade relief in 12 complaints under NAFTA Chapter 19.
- Only seven of these wins were directly attributable to the Chapter 19 process, and the last of these occurred nearly 15 years ago.
- In the five other successful cases, Canadian exporters won interim relief, but the trade disputes were ultimately resolved independently of the Chapter 19 panel process.
- More than half (30) of all complaints were terminated before any panel decision was reached.
- Delays in the process have increased the panel timelines to well beyond those in the original agreement.
Chapter 19’s mixed track record suggests that the price paid to protect it – for example, by extending monopoly protections for brand-name medicines, eroding supply management, and failing to escape from unjustified U.S. national security safeguard tariffs on steel and aluminum - was too high.