Talk looks at friction caused by Chapter 11 of NAFTA

Riddhi Dasgupta of the University of Cambridge will discuss how Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has caused friction between the United States and Canada, and will suggest ways to remedy that at the next talk in the Osgoode-York Seminar Series in Policy Research.

“Belligerent Investments: Improving American-Canadian Relations 16 Years After NAFTA” will take place Monday, May 10, from 2:30 to 4pm at 902 York Research Tower, Keele campus.

“One anti-NAFTA advertisement in 1993 claimed that the agreement ‘will seriously stifle representative democracy by making local, state or national laws subject to an unelected…bureaucracy that citizens cannot control,’” says Dasgupta, a PhD candidate in international law and land economy. “Turns out that this wasn’t mere hysteria. The North American Free Trade Agreement (1993), which affects multilateral trade flows among the United States, Canada and Mexico by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, has become a controversial poster child for international trade regimes.”

Riddhi DasguptaRight: Riddhi Dasgupta

Dasgupta’s research pertains to expropriations under NAFTA, the European Court of Human Rights and the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. He is currently focused on law and economics and international law.

“Chapter 11 of NAFTA creates a transnational framework forbidding the expropriation of property and investments of an entity (of one signatory nation) by another signatory; it has caused mutual suspicion between American and Canadian industries, legal communities and governments,” he says. “This talk has to do with the friction generated by Chapter 11 decisions and their effect on US-Canada relations. I will discuss the more prominent (and some notorious) decisions of the NAFTA panels, and go on to venture some ideas on how to bring clarity to the situation.”

Dasgupta was a research assistant to Neal Katyal, advocate for the Guantánamo Bay detainees in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), which dealt with the military commissions created to try alleged enemy combatants. In addition, Dasgupta assists with moot court competitions and the pro bono clinic at Cambridge.

Everyone is welcome to attend the talk. A light lunch will be served. The series is sponsored by the York Centre for Public Policy & Law.

Anyone wishing to attend should confirm by contacting Jennifer Dalton, YCPPL research fellow and seminar series coordinator, at or ext. 33233.