Comments Sought on NAFTA and the Environment

Nearing the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),  the trinational commission in charge of the trade pact’s environmental side agreement is  seeking public input on 20 years of expanded trade and its ecological impacts.

In a call for comments, the Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is seeking written information and commentary on pertinent issues leading up to an October 17-18 meeting in Washington, D.C., where government officials, activists and academics will gather to “reflect on the successes and shortcomings of (NAFTA), and how or whether trade liberalization can continue to co-exist with strong environmental protection.”

In a statement, the CEC noted that a review of NAFTA and the environment is especially timely with new free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the global agenda.

In particular, the CEC invites comments on the following questions:

1. What are the environmental successes of the environmental side agreement and NAFTA?

2. Where have the provisions of those agreements fallen short? And where they have, does the problem lie in the agreements themselves or in their implementation?

3. Is the CEC achieving the goals for which it was created? Are those goals adequate in face of ongoing environmental challenges in North America?

4. Have the environmental side agreement and the environmental provisions of NAFTA adequately addressed environmental concerns related to free trade in North America?

5. How could implementation of the environmental side agreement and the environmental provisions of NAFTA be improved?

6. Are there important topics the CEC has failed to tackle over the past 20 years?

7. In light of the past 20 years, on what priorities should the CEC focus in the next 10 years and beyond?

Written comments will be accepted by the CEC until August 30 at the following e-mail address:

For more information on the mission and work of the CEC, readers can check out the following website:

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