By the Sierra Club and NRDC
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, shortly after Donald Trump’s draft plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada was revealed last week, leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council put forward an environmental platform for NAFTA renegotiation. The platform was sent to Members of Congress and will be used in future campaigning on NAFTA’s renegotiation.
“NAFTA not only left American workers in the dust, it has caused more than two decades of damage to our climate and our environment,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program. “Rather than benefit Trump’s favored billionaire class, a renegotiated NAFTA must support a more stable climate, clean air and water, healthy communities, Indigenous peoples, and good union jobs. But given Trump’s cabinet full of billionaire supporters of status-quo trade deals who believe that climate change is a hoax, we’re more than skeptical.”
The platform sent to Congress today by the environmental groups outlines provisions to transform NAFTA from a polluter-friendly deal into one that supports environmental protection. Any renegotiation must be conducted in an open and transparent process and include changes, such as:
- Eliminating NAFTA’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system that puts corporate interests above public interest protections.
- Adding strong, enforceable environmental and labor standards to the core text of the agreement.
- Bolstering climate protections by penalizing imported goods made with high climate emissions.
- Adding rules that would shield climate and other public interest policies from trade challenges.
“Any renegotiation of NAFTA needs to ensure that the agreement protects the planet and the communities most affected by pollution and climate change” said Jake Schmidt, director of the International Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “As negotiations move forward, NRDC and our partners will be watching closely to make sure essential environmental protections are included that benefit hard working people across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.”
For years, environmental groups worked alongside labor unions, consumer advocates, and other partners to shine a light on the dangerous and ill-fated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They will continue to work together to ensure that NAFTA, if it fails to meet these high standards, has the same fate as the TPP.