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Regionalism in International Investment Law$
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Leon Trakman and Nicola Ranieri

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389005.001.0001

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Nafta: An Overview

Nafta: An Overview

(p.88) 5 Nafta: An Overview
Regionalism in International Investment Law

Nicola W. Ranieri

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a template for regional trade and investment agreements. It reviews select NAFTA alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, analyzing these in terms of structure, effectiveness, and public participation. It argues that where once the NAFTA was hailed as the blueprint for further economic integration, recent history suggests that it might have been the high-water mark of the neoliberal approach to negotiating international economic agreements. More recent agreements suggest that governments may now be more cautious with respect to ceding sovereignty in such agreements, and that civil society groups are more active with respect to ensuring that their concerns are acknowledged by such agreements. Notwithstanding the criticisms leveled at the NAFTA in general, and its ADR mechanisms in particular, these mechanisms continue to be important milestones and instructive benchmarks.

Keywords:   North American Free Trade Agreement, regional trade, investment agreements, investment treaties, international economic agreements, alternative dispute resolution

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