Empirical analysis of NAFTA panel review has shown that panels reverse US agency trade remedy determinations twice as often as US courts. Recent studies have eliminated case selection and other hypotheses as potential explanations for this divergence. In this article, Probit regressions show that case docket differences, such as type of import or litigant identity, also cannot account for this discrepancy. As NAFTA panels must apply the same law and standards of review as the US courts they replace, this divergence presents serious questions regarding US Congressional acquiescence to the operation of NAFTA panels and encourages discussion of the role or absence of popular preferences in the trade policy process.


empirical, international trade, NAFTA Chapter 19 panels, judicial review, divergence, asymmetric decisions, trade remedies, AD/CVD law, agency determinations, deference, public choice, capture, trade liberalization

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Journal of World Trade

Publication Information

42 Journal of World Trade 691 (2008)


COinS Juscelino F. Colares Faculty Bio