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A wish list for an environmentally friendly NAFTA

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been progressing along a very rocky path, with the U.S., Canada and Mexico all threatening at one point or another to exit the pact. But slow progress is being made toward a new agreement.

However, experts warn that the resulting trade treaty is unlikely to benefit the environment and the general public, unless major changes are made. These proposed NAFTA alterations, as outlined in this story, could also provide a template for future enviro-friendly international trade agreements.

Among the changes needed: remove NAFTA Chapter 11 or reform the ISDS, remove any reference to water as a common commodity, remove the energy proportionality rule, include the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, and protect supply management and sustainable agriculture.

Also, axe regulatory cooperation and harmonization, fully fund the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and give it some teeth, Acknowledge indigenous and native rights (not free trade incentives), and most importantly: make a place at the bargaining table for the people and the planet.

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