TAIL serves as an institutional mechanism that effectively restricts the policy choices available to states. Ruling elites have used these international obligations to impose policies that would not otherwise acquire domestic approval and many of the institutional mechanisms are
‘supraconstitutional’ in function, meaning they are so broad in scope and have such unusual judicial authority that they are capable of transforming the domestic political order from the outside-in. The ability of these agreements to shape government behaviour even though they do not fall under the constitution has led some to claim that ‘NAFTA tied the government’s hands…a clear illustration of how international agreements can be used to constitutionalize a domestic
ideological position’ (Clarkson 2002, 51-52). The new rights capital acquired also make it extremely difficult to bring public and social services back into the public sector once they have
been privatized, thus giving practical significance to Thatcher’s ideological acronym, TINA (there is no alternative).
The point being made here is that 'free trade' as exemplified by NAFTA (called TAIL in Canada) is used to circumvent domestic law and domestic lawmaking.
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