NAFTA changes raise hazardous-waste concerns


For years, maquiladora export plants have shipped their products north across the U.S.-Mexican border. And for years, they’ve been required to do the same with their hazardous waste—for disposal outside Mexico. But as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes full effect, maquiladoras gradually have lost their special status. Next November, for instance, U.S. and Canadian maquiladoras must begin paying duties on equipment they bring into Mexico, just as domestic companies do. And starting in 2001, their products will have full access to the Mexican market. Amid all the changes, the question arises: What about the waste? When NAFTA was drafted, the expectation was that as the agreement was phased in, Mexico would develop a nationwide system to treat and dispose of... [Log in to read more]

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