Concepts, Implementation and Effectiveness
Edited by Michael Faure, Peter De Smedt and An Stas
Chapter 15: North American working group on environmental enforcement and compliance cooperation: moving from capacity building to operational activities
The main goal of North American Free Trade Agreement is to facilitate trade among Canada, Mexico and the United States. During the negotiation of the treaty, there were concerns expressed that increased competition would lead to a ‘race to the bottom’, with pollution-generating companies seeking areas with the lowest wages and the lowest environmental protection requirements. Environmental organizations in the United States launched a campaign to have environmental protection included in the treaty and the North American Free Trade Agreement was only put into force after a trilateral agreement to protect the environment was included. Bromm (2011) provides a detailed account of the development and negotiation of the NAFTA and the environmental side agreement.
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