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34 Harv. Int'l. L. J. 381 (1993)
Rules of Origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement: A Substantial Transformation into Objectively Transparent Protectionism

handle is hein.journals/hilj34 and id is 387 raw text is: VOLUME 34, NUMBER 2, SPRING 1993

Rules of Origin under the North American
Free Trade Agreement: A Substantial
Transformation into Objectively
Transparent Protectionism
Joseph A. LaNasa III*
Rules of origin are an important aspect of trade because they de-
termine to a significant extent commercial importing patterns and
factory sourcing decisions. Businesses seeking to purchase the most
cost-effective parts for their goods will consider how the origin of their
parts and end product will be defined so that they will know which
entry conditions or tariffs will apply. In choosing where to locate their
factories and assembly plants, businesses will consider how         the na-
tionality of their products will be defined in the destination market
so as to minimize the tariff and non-tariff barriers placed on that good.
The increased globalization of business and the economic interde-
pendence of states have made the identification of the nationality of a
product extraordinarily difficult. Products today contain parts or have
undergone manufacturing processes in a myriad of countries on an
unprecedented scale. '
Moreover, greater differential treatment of imported goods, addi-
tional restrictions on traditional barriers to trade, and the globalization
* J.D., Harvard Law School, 1994.
1. See, e.g., Peter D. Ehrenhaft, Book Review, 86 AM. J. INT'L L. 230, 232 (1992) (reviewing
JOHN H. JACKSON, RESTRUCTURING THE GATT SYSTEm (1990)) (arguing that because every-
thing from a computer chip to an automobile is designed by engineers in several different
countries and built with components made in a few more, pursuant to processes developed still
elsewhere, the determination of an objectively certain single national source of imports has
been frustrated); Deanna Conn, Note, Assessing the Impact of Preferential Trade Agreements and New
Ruler of Origin on the Extraterritorial Application of Antitrust Law to International Mergers, 93 COLUM.
L. REv. 119, 119 (1993) (arguing that changes in technology and manufacturing processes have
led to multi-state production that makes determination of origin difficult); C. Edward Galfand,
Comment, Heeding the Call for a Preditable Rule of Origin, 11 U. PA. J. INT'L Bus. L. 469, 469
(1989) (arguing that growth of multiple-party manufacturing makes origin determinations

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