Green GATT, Smooth Trade

By Bill Richardson and Tom Spenser. Rep. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and European Parliament member Tom Spenser of Surrey, England, are members of Global Legislators Environment. | The Christian Science Monitor, December 14, 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Green GATT, Smooth Trade


Bill Richardson and Tom Spenser. Rep. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and European Parliament member Tom Spenser of Surrey, England, are members of Global Legislators Environment., The Christian Science Monitor


WHILE agriculture, film, and industrial subsidies dominate the headlines as negotiators struggle to meet a Dec. 15 deadline for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, environmental issues appear to be taking a back seat.

The North American Free Trade Agreement has established a minimal level of protection and standards that GATT also should reach. As legislators committed to securing passage of a viable agreement, we firmly believe that a strong environmental component is essential if GATT is to be ratified.

NAFTA's strong environmental side agreements make it possibly the "greenest" trade agreement ever negotiated. It provides many precedents that can be used to further the cause of environmental protection in international agreements. In particular, it calls for upholding America's tough health, safety, and environmental standards. The agreement also specifically states that a party may not lower its environmental standards or its level of enforcement to attract or retain investment.

To ensure that NAFTA's environmental provisions are upheld, a side agreement has established a North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, with an independent secretariat. The power of the commission will be backed by a unique mechanism that imposes sanctions or penalties on countries that persistently fail to effectively enforce their laws. It also contains a number of mechanisms through which countries will enhance cooperation on enforcement of environmental laws. Additionally, promoting public access remains a priority; under NAFTA, citizens of the US, Canada, and Mexico are granted rights to courts and administrative agencies in case of environmental harm.

To address bilateral trans-boundary issues, the US and Mexico also reached an agreement to address the environmental infrastructure and cleanup priorities of the border region.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Green GATT, Smooth Trade
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?