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Apr
15

On September 30, 2018, the United States and Canada agreed on an agreement to replace NAFTA, which will now be called the USMCA – the agreement between the United States and Mexico. In a joint press release from the U.S. and Canadian trade offices, officials said that on February 18, 2005, the seven CAFTA members signed two agreements to facilitate the implementation of environmental provisions in their free trade agreement. Chapter 17 (Environment) of the Dominican Republic – Central America – U.S. Free Trade Agreement (D.R. – CAFTA) states that “each party ensures that its laws and policies provide for and promote a high level of environmental protection and strive to further improve these laws and policies.” The agreement establishes an Environment Council (ECJ) to strengthen implementation and review progress made in this chapter. The chapter also contains provisions relating to public participation, both within the Court of Justice and through national efforts, including a public tendering process that allows members of the public to voice their concerns when they feel that a party is not effectively implementing its environmental legislation. The agreement on the creation of an environmental secretariat aims to manage this mechanism of public submissions. The agreement provides for the creation of a secretariat to review these bids and, in deserving cases, presents a substantive situation.

The secretariat of the Central American Organization (SIECA) is invited to create a new unit to serve as the CAFTA-DR environmental secretariat. About a quarter of all U.S. imports, such as crude oil, machinery, gold, vehicles, fresh produce, livestock and processed food products, come from Canada and Mexico, the second and third largest suppliers of imported products to the United States. In addition, about one-third of U.S. exports, including machinery, spare parts, mineral oils and plastics, go to Canada and Mexico. On January 29, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the agreement between the United States, Mexico-Canada. Canada has not yet adopted it in its parliamentary body until January 2020. Mexico was the first country to ratify the agreement in 2019. From the beginning, critics of NAFTA feared that the agreement would result in a move of U.S. jobs to Mexico, despite additional NAALCs.

NAFTA, for example, has affected thousands of U.S. auto workers in this way. Many companies have relocated their production to Mexico and other countries where labour costs are lower. However, NAFTA may not be the source of these measures. President Donald Trump`s USMCA should allay those concerns. The White House estimates that the USMCA will create 600,000 jobs and increase the economy by $235 billion. The legislation was developed under President George H. W. Bush as the first phase of his Enterprise for the Americas initiative.

The Clinton administration, which signed NAFTA in 1993, believed it would create 200,000 U.S. jobs in two years and one million in five years, as exports would play an important role in U.S. economic growth. The government expected a dramatic increase in U.S. imports from Mexico due to lower tariffs. El Salvador was the first D.R.-CAFTA country to ratify the agreement and pass it through Congress on December 17, 2004.