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Response to the United States Trade Representative’s Stated Objectives on NAFTA Negotiations: An environmental perspective

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Response to the United States Trade Representative’s Stated Objectives on NAFTA Negotiations: An environmental perspective

After over two decades in force, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) offers a key opportunity to revamp trade provisions between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

On July 17, 2017, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published its Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA renegotiation. With the renegotiation process scheduled to continue this week, these objectives set the United States’ position regarding the future of NAFTA and how it relates to key issues, including public procurement, investment provisions and market access, enforcement mechanisms and environmental protection.

Taking a sustainable development perspective, this response examines the USTR objectives and how they directly or indirectly relate to sustainable growth through international trade and investment. In doing so, it identifies opportunities for negotiators to enhance institutional governance structures, standards and international trade provisions towards a sustainable development agenda.