UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

International trade and legal modernization: effects of Mexico’s membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement Beteta, Armando F.


The North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by the United States, Canada, and Mexico in December 17, 1992, establishes an important example of a Common Market which includes the participation of both developing and developed nations. However, the fact that a less developed nation is included in this "first world" economic enterprise has created uncertainty regarding the Agreement's possibilities of success, since severe economic, political, and legal discrepancies separate the Parties. Legislation usually reflects a nation's economic, political and cultural, characteristics. Therefore, by comparing different legal systems, one is able to observe the discrepancies existing among the economics, cultures and politics of nations. The main purpose of this thesis is to find out if NAFTA is a proper instrument for the elimination of differences between developed and developing countries and; if this is the case, examining the means used to achieve such purpose. This thesis consists of four chapters. The theoretical approach of the thesis will be developed in the first two, where an overview of the theories of free trade and dependency will be presented. The problem of how to regulate divergent economies under an international agreement will be approached in the last two chapters by making (in Chapter Three) a legal comparison between NAFTA and the European Economic Community; and by addressing (in Chapter Four) particular legal disparities among North American nations in the area of intellectual and industrial property, and their treatment under NAFTA. Benefits of free trade have encourage nations to forming international economic blocs, which will improve their competitiveness at both the domestic and international level. Less developed nations which are interested in participating in this new economic trend, have engaged in legal reform and trade liberalization, in order to satisfy the pressures and meet the standards of industrialized nations. NAFTA has proven to be an efficient instrument for the homogeneization of rules. Because, especially in the branch of Intellectual Property, the Agreement helps eliminate most differences between the Parties in establishing clear and unified principles and encouraging domestic legal reform in Mexico.

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