Regional Integration Mechanisms in the Law of the United States: Starting Over

22 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2012

See all articles by Frederick M. Abbott

Frederick M. Abbott

Florida State University - College of Law

Date Written: April 30, 1993


This contribution will focus on the legal system of the United States and will consider the recent bias of the U.S. Congress toward according a non-self-executing character to RIMs to which the United States has become party. It will also consider the theoretical case for according a self-executing character to the proposed NAFTA, though recognizing that as a matter of political expediency, the NAFTA will almost certainly be denied a self-executing character (at least initially), and that the NAFTA may not in fact come into force. Regardless of the outcome of the NAFTA approval process, the question of whether the economic integration commitments of the United States will be accorded a self-executing character will be important as the future of U.S. trading commitments unfolds.

Consistent with the general thesis of this contribution, it is suggested that there is no persuasive reason for denying a self-executing character to all or at least substantial parts of the NAFTA and similar future U.S. RTA commitments.

Keywords: self-execution, direct effect, trade, treaties, regional integration

JEL Classification: F02, F15, K33

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Frederick M., Regional Integration Mechanisms in the Law of the United States: Starting Over (April 30, 1993). Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 1, pp. 155-184, 1993, Available at SSRN:

Frederick M. Abbott (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-1572 (Phone)
850-645-4862 or 917-591-3112 (Fax)

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