Revised USMCA does not impress green advocates


The Amistad International Dam Bridge linking the U.S. state of Texas and the Mexican state of Coahuila. (Shutterstock)

A newly revamped North American trade accord approved this month by the U.S. House of Representatives only marginally tightens environmental protections and glaringly fails to acknowledge climate change, environmental experts say. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), was signed last year by the three nations. However, Democratic Party leaders of the U.S. House demanded stronger provisions on labor, pharmaceuticals and the environment before voting on the pact. The agreement won full House approval on Dec. 19 in a vote of 385-41, and is expected to be taken up in the Senate early in the coming year. In the lead-up to the House vote, Democrat Richard Neal, chair of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, said it would “set a new standard for U.S. trade agreements.” The view is not universal. Amanda Maxwell, director of the Latin America project... [Log in to read more]

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