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Spring 2023
7397 WRS: NAFTA 2.0: North American Trade After the USMCA - TRUJILLO- 25703

Professor(s): Elizabeth Trujillo (FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: International Law 
Business and Commercial Law

Time: 1:00p-2:30p  TTh  Location: 222 

Course Outline: This course will introduce you to the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA") and its revised version under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), along with the emerging legal and commercial issues surrounding the treaty. Because the NAFTA was the first U.S. regional trade agreement, it has been used as model for other regional trade agreements. We will discuss the context which brought about the NAFTA, study various USMCA provisions to understand the ways in which the USMCA changed (or not) the original NAFTA. Specifically, we will examine its dispute settlement processes (specifically current US disputes against Mexico on energy, environment, and labor), tariffs and the rules of origin and how they impact North American supply chain production, and the ways that the USMCA addresses environmental and labor controversies in the three countries. We will also examine the relationship between regional trade agreements like the USMCA to multilateral agreements and institutions such as GATT and the WTO as well as the impact of the USMCA on the economic, political, and social structures of the three participating countries. General issues of international law and trade will be discussed in the context of regional trade agreements and the ramifications of having (or not) a free trade agreement for the production supply-chains of the North American region.

This course will have a final paper as the grade assessment which will meet the upper-level (WRS) writing requirement.

No pre-requisites are required for this course.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)  The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid-term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.



First Day Assignments: First Day Assignment

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:
Paper: Yes

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: Yes

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

Pass-Fail Student Election: Unavailable (Instructor Preference)

Course Materials

Book(s) Required

Course Materials: The required course materials include David Gantz's An Introduction to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (Elgar Publishing).

Also access a copy of the USMCA, which can be accessed online at:

Recommended readings:
NAFTA: Free Trade and Foreign Investment in the Americas in a Nutshell, 5th Edition, Kindle Edition by Ralph Folsom (Author) ISBN-13: 978-0314290267; ISBN-10: 0314290265 (the NAFTA Nutshell).