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California Western Intro to Nafta

Introduction to NAFTA Course Outline and Reading List
NAFTA Summer Program 2006
Consortium for Innovative Legal Education
Professor James Cooper, California Western School of Law

Course Meetings

The course shall meet in the Multimedia Room (behind the Security Desk) on the ground floor of the classroom building at California Western School of Law, 350 Cedar Street, San Diego. 

Course Description

Now that NAFTA has passed through its first decade, we can truly explore the extent of its reach and its results.  This survey course introduces the NAFTA Summer Program participants to the major issues of NAFTA – from the human issues like social dumping to the health and public safety concerns over cross border pharmaceutical sales and food security.  We look at competing jurisdictions, new forms of sovereignty, the provision of services among developed and developing countries, and the rise of the surveillance society.  Comparative in approach, we look at the blending of legal cultures (the civil law of both Quebec and Mexico and the common law of English Canada and the U.S.) as well as the establishment of a rules-based system of dispute resolution.  We dissect the Agreement and explore the background behind its ratification and implementation across the region.  While the course examines the underpinnings of the North American Free Trade Agreement, we are also explore whether it has been a success and for whom. 


The required casebook is RALPH FOLSOM, ET AL, NAFTA AND FREE TRADE IN THE AMERICAS: A PROBLEM ORIENTED COURSEBOOK (West, 2d. ed.  2005) (“Casebook”) and its accompanying Documents Supplement (“Doc. Supp.”).   

Class Participation and Attendance   

Students are expected to attend class each day, to complete each reading assignment before each meeting, and to discuss the material in class.   There are “push points”:  The student’s grade may be increased or decreased up to three points based on the student’s participation in class.   

Final Examination    

Your grade will be based on an in-class final examination (90%) and upon participation (10%). You will not be able to sign up with Examsoft through the school to take the final examination on your laptop.  The final examination – two hours in length - will take place the afternoon of June 19, 2006 (1.15 to 3.15 p.m.).

Course Outline

Monday, June 5, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. Lecture on NAFTA Themes

Ethical supply chain
Homogenization of culture
Law and order:  immigration/national security

10.45 a.m.  Program Participant Campus Tour and Library Tour
   Wireless Access Provided for Program Participants

1.15 – 2.15 p.m. International Trade in 30 Minutes or Its Free

“Stumbling Blocs”:  Scenes from the WTO Doha Round
Regional Trade Agreements Gone Wild

Required Reading:   Casebook, Chapter 1 (pp. 2-9); Chapters 2 and 3 (pp. 10-63)

James M. Cooper, Spirits in the Material World:  A Post-Modern Approach to United States Trade Policy, 14 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 957 (1999).

2.40 – 3.40 p.m. The History of NAFTA

Canada-US Free Trade Agreement 1989
NAFTA as a Reaction to the WTO and the EU
Mexico Joins the Global Marketplace:  A Short History of Mexico
Side Agreements and Side Deals:  Labor and Environment
Trade in Services, Agriculture and Other Difficult Issues

Required Reading:  Casebook, pp. 66-78.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

8.30 a.m. San Diego Port, Lecture by Stuart Farnsworth,
  (Lecture and tour finish at 10.30 a.m.)

5.30 p.m. BBQ, Presidio Park, Mission Hills, San Diego

Directions to Presidio Park can be found at:

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. Border Issues:  The Perspective of Law Enforcement

Guest Lecture by Adele Fasano, Director of Operations for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Required Reading:


1.15 – 2.15 p.m.

About Mexico and Mexican Law

Required Reading:

Stephen Zamora, The Americanization of Mexican Law:  Non-Trade Issues in the North American Free Trade Agreement, 24 LAW & POLICY IN INT’L BUS. 391 (1993).

2.40 – 3.40 p.m.

Trade in Goods:  From Rules of Origin to Rules of Production
Screwdriver Plants and the Rise of Maquiladoras
Hello Shanghai, Goodbye TJ

Required Reading:  Casebook, Chapter 5 (pp. 66-75)

CARLOS FUENTES, THE CRYSTAL FRONTIER 114-144 (Alfred Mac Adam trans., 1997) (1995).

Thursday, June 8, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m.

The Reduction of Tariffs and Non-Tariff Barriers
Social Dumping and New Forms of Subsidies

Required Reading:

Friday June 9, 2006

9 - 10.35 a.m.  Judge John Williams, Immigration Court, 401 West A Street,
   Suite 800, Tel: (619) 557-6052

1.15 – 2.50 p.m. A Look into the Immigration Provisions of NAFTA

A Debate about Putting People into Free Trade Agreements

Required Reading: 


7 p.m.   Political Equator - Casa Familiar, San Ysidro, CA

Saturday, June 10, 2006

10 a.m.  Tour of Tijuana

Meet at San Isidro Border Crossing (Pedestrian entrance to Mexico)
Tour of Pharmaceutical Alley
Visit to Toxic Waste Site (Metales y Derivados) and Colonia Chilpancingo
Tijuana Tacotoreando Lunch
Hipodromo Caliente Visit with Tijuana Municipal President Jorge Hank Rhon
Lecture on The Chinese Beetle case at Madera Factory, Agua Caliente
Visit to Tec Moulding S.A. Factory and Lecture by Carlos de la Torre
Visit to Playas de Tijuana and Border Fence

7 p.m.  Premiere of Maquilapolis, a film by Sergio de la Torre, Cinepolis, Rio    Tijuana Shopping Mall, Tijuana, Baja California

Required Reading: SEBASTIAN ROTELLA, TWILIGHT ON THE LINE 13-43 (1998).

Monday, June 12, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. Telecommunications Industry Liberalization

Guest Lecture by Gabriela Manriquez, Qualcomm, San Diego on Telecommunications Sector Liberalization in Latin America

Required Reading: Casebook, pp. 132-136

1.15 – 2.15 p.m. Foreign Investment

Required Reading:  Casebook, pp. 306- 341.

2.40 – 3.40 p.m. Standardization and Health Safety

Product Standards and Food Safety Issues Lecture
The Challenge of Genetically Modified Organisms:  Whose Rules?

Required Reading:  Casebook, pp. 107-132

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. Intellectual Property and The Perils of Piracy

Required Reading: Casebook, pp. 379-394.

James M. Cooper, Piracy 101, 36 CAL WESTERN INT'L L. J. 89 (2005).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m.   Banking and Financial Services

Open Field (Sort of): Citibank and other Exceptions
Small Business Administration/Micro-Entrepreneurial Credit
Implications for Sovereignty:  Changing Mexican Laws to Ensure Compliance with NAFTA

Required Reading: Casebook, pp. 196-202; pp. 269-305.

1.15 – 2.15 p.m. 

Fighting Back:  Zapatista
Non-Violent Dispute Resolution:  A Rules-Based System
Converging Legal Culture (Mexico/Quebec and the Civil Law and Canada/the US and Common Law)

Required Reading:

2.40 – 3.40 p.m. 

Convergence:  The WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (“DSU”)
The Globalization of the Legal Profession
The Race towards Harmonization and the Revenge of Europe

Required Reading:  Casebook, pp. 203-235.

4.30 p.m. Bonus Site Visit:  “Tracing the $4 Billion Annually brought to San Diego County:  The Fashion Valley Shopping Tour Experience”

Thursday, June 15, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. NAFTA Dispute Settlement, Guest Lecture by Professor Robert     Lutz, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, CA

Required Reading:  Casebook, Chapter pp. 454-490.

Extra Event:

7 p.m.  Tijuana Makes Me Happy, Strange New World, Film Event, Museum of    Contemporary Art, San Diego, La Jolla

Friday, June 16, 2006

9.25 – 10.35 a.m. The Next Generation:  Expanding the Pie or Spreading the Misery?

The Future Free Trade Agreement of the Americas after Mar del Plata 2005
The Regionalization of the Americas
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA)
MERCOSUR’s Last Breath

Required Reading:  Casebook, Chapter 12 (pp. 770-859).


Monday, June 19, 2006

1.15 – 3.15 p.m. Examination