How green are Cafta’s environmental provisions?


Central American and U.S. officials claim the free-trade agreement that the United States recently negotiated with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua contains strong environmental safeguards. But would the Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta) truly ensure that green protections keep pace with commerce? Or would it intensify pressure on natural resources and overwhelm regulators, speeding the region’s environmental degradation? Such questions cannot be answered definitively, of course, unless Cafta—a draft of which was made public in January—is approved, implemented and studied over time. And approval is not a sure thing, especially given rekindled U.S. political debate about trade and domestic job losses. Meanwhile, though, plenty of opinions are being served up in Central American capitals and Washington, D.C. From... [Log in to read more]

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