Publication Date



53 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as winner of the Don G. McCormick Prize.


This paper will argue that NAFTA was written with a bias in favor of protecting the rights of investors and over protecting the rights of the workers of Mexico, the US and Canada. Specifically, this paper focuses on the submissions or reports of violations of Mexican federal labor law in the maquiladora zone submitted to the United States National Administrative Offices (NAO) and the claims filed under Chapter 11 of NAFTA. The paper will begin with background on prior US-Mexico investment programs, leading up to the passage of NAFTA. This will include a discussion of Fast Track legislation and the political pressures that lead to the inclusion of the "side agreements," North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. Next, the paper will examine the most recent cases submitted under NAALC regarding the maquiladora zone, and all Chapter 11 filings. Then, both dispute resolution mechanisms will be evaluated and compared by asking two questions of each dispute resolution process: who decides the dispute? And, what can an aggrieved person expect to recover from filing a claim? These two questions highlight the benefits and structural weaknesses of both dispute resolution mechanisms.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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