The binational panel review system established by Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deprives U.S. industries and workers of their right to a fair and impartial hearing in trade disputes. The U.S. Constitution is being violated by this outsourcing of judicial decisions to the NAFTA panel system.
- Chapter 19 denies U.S. industries their constitutionally protected rights of due process and judicial review. No recourse exists in instances where a NAFTA panel renders biased decisions that run counter to U.S. law, as in the softwood lumber dispute. Chapter 19 bars federal agencies or U.S. citizens to appeal decisions of unaccountable foreign nationals regarding findings of U.S. law to U.S. courts. In fact, only a NAFTA Extraordinary Challenge Committee panel can overturn an original NAFTA panel decision -- and then not based on U.S. law, but only on the basis of the extremely high standard that the "integrity" of NAFTA itself is threatened. This has never happened.
- Chapter 19 strips the President of the United States of his authority and responsibility to execute U.S. trade law. The President is elected to execute the laws of the United States and our judicial system is empowered to interpret U.S. law and settle disputes among litigants. This fundamental principle is violated by NAFTA's dispute settlement system, under which the power to execute and interpret U.S. law has been ceded to a bi-national panel.
- Chapter 19 allows foreign nationals to direct federal agencies as to how to interpret and enforce U.S. law. Chapter 19 must be reformed to stop the practice of handing over the U.S. sovereign rights to implement its laws to panels which are partially made-up of foreign nationals, each of whom represent their national and professional interests, and none of whom are appointed by the President of the United States or confirmed by the U.S. Congress.
Reform of this unconstitutional system is needed now. Contact us to join the reform effort or for more information.