With the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nearing, please join us for an event to examine and discuss NAFTA’s impact on communities and the environment. This event will take place alongside a meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation—the commission in charge of overseeing the implementation of the trade pact’s environmental side agreement. While NAFTA’s environmental side agreement was touted as a way to foster the protection and improvement of the environment; enhance compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws; and, more broadly, to help ensure that trade liberalization would be accompanied by greater levels of environmental protection, the evidence after 20 years shows just the opposite.
Panelists from Mexico, the United States, and Canada will come together to review environmental impacts of NAFTA, including: declining groundwater levels and increased deforestation in Mexico due to the intensified focus on industrial export-agriculture; increased pollution and toxics along the maquiladora region of the US-Mexico border; weakening of environmental laws to attract trade and investment; and the impact of broad investor protections on the ability of governments to put in place laws and policies that protect the environment. Panelists will also discuss the implications of this review for the negotiation of future trade pacts.