Why Did Environmentalists Oppose The North American Free Trade Agreement

However, as a result of the May 10 agreement, recent agreements with Colombia, South Korea, Panama and Peru are subject to violations of environmental regulations under the same dispute settlement procedure as trade disputes, which could lead to trade retaliation. The latter agreements also broaden the scope of violations to include the obligation to enforce environmental regulations and other measures, as well as laws. The U.S. approach to the environment in negotiating free trade agreements is to strike a balance between two somewhat contradictory objectives. The first is the recognition that each party to the agreement, as sovereign nations, has the right to determine its own approach to environmental protection. This is appropriate because each country faces different environmental problems and has different capacities and political will to deal with those problems. . . .