International trade law is the area of law concerned with the rules and customs associated with trade between countries. This guide will introduce you to the major texts involved as well as useful secondary and online resources.
The World Trade Organization (WTO), a formal international organization to regulate trade, was established in 1995. Its purpose and structure are governed by the Agreement Establishing The World Trade Organization, also known as the "Marrakesh Agreement". It does not specify the actual rules that govern international trade in specific areas; these are found in separate treaties, annexed to the Marrakesh Agreement. The Marrakesh Agreement replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. NAFTA has two supplements, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).
This guide is based upon one created by Jonathan Pratter of the University of Texas Jamail Center for Legal Research and adapted with his permission.