About the Secretariat

Overview

The Secretariat is a unique organization established pursuant to Article 30.6 of the Agreement. It administers the mechanisms specified under the Agreement to resolve trade disputes between national industries and/or governments in a timely and impartial manner.

Under the new Agreement, pursuant to the Parties' (Agreement governments') obligation to establish permanent, national Section offices in each country, Canada, the United States and Mexico simply maintained their existing national Sections to the Secretariat. The Secretariat is comprised of:

Each of the national sections share the same mandate, perform the same functions, and is headed by a Secretary appointed by their respective government. The Parties are responsible for the costs of operating their national section of the Secretariat.

Mandate

The mandate of the Secretariat is set out in Article 30.6 (3) of the Agreement:

Article 30.6.3 of the Agreement establishes the Secretariat comprising the Canadian Section, the Mexican Section and the United States Section. The mandate of the Secretariat is set out in Article 30.6.3 of the Agreement and reads:

The Secretariat shall:

  1. provide assistance to the Commission;
  2. provide administrative assistance to:
    1. panels and committees established under Section D of Chapter 10 (Review and Dispute Settlement in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Matters), and
    2. panels established under Chapter 31 (Dispute Settlement), including under Annex 31-A (United States-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism) and Annex 31-B (Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism);
  3. be responsible for the payment of remuneration to and expenses of panels and committees established under Section D of Chapter 10 (Review and Dispute Settlement in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Matters) and panelists, assistants, and experts involved in dispute settlement proceedings under Chapter 31 (Dispute Settlement), including under Annex 31-A (United-States-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism) and Annex 31-B (Canada-Mexico Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism); and
  4. as the Commission may direct:
    1. support the work of other committees and groups established under this Agreement, and
    2. otherwise facilitate the operation of this Agreement.
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