Argument: NAFTA is bad for the environment

Increased trade generally strains the environment:

The increased flow of goods over borders generally strains the environment, as more trucks flow over the borders, more freights ship goods to and from ports, more greenhouse gases are used in these transportation processes, and as the private sector assumes a greater role often with fewer regulations on their activities. Because NAFTA increases trade among its member countries, it has resulted in the above effects and a generally worsening of environmental conditions.

NAFTA's rules grant special protections to foreign investors, allowing these companies great freedom to pollute

  • “NAFTA and the Environment, Health and Safety”. Public Citizen. Retrieved 10.5.07 – “The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) includes expansive rules on investment designed to grant special legal protections and new rights to corporations from one NAFTA country that invests in another NAFTA country. NAFTA’s investment chapter, Chapter 11, is unique because it provides for the private enforcement of these new rights and privileges outside of a nation’s domestic court system.”

NAFTA's standards apply to the end product, not the way the product is made

  • Thea Lee and Ralph Nader, The case against free trade; Happily never NAFTER, there’s not such thing as free trade. Earth Island Press, 1993 ISBN 156431694. Chapter 5, pp. 71: “NAFTA states that technical standards imposed by the pact refer only to the end product, not the way the product is made. So an electrical appliance maker that dumped toxic waste into a Mexican stream could freely export “safe” products to the United States or Canada.” [needs verification that this has not been changed]

NAFTA's environmental protections are failing

  • NAFTA and the Environment. Foreign Policy in Focus. October 1999

    • “Key Problems

      • NAFTA’s trade protections are liable to abuse, threatening deterioration of environmental standards within the region.
      • Flaws in procedures and programs also impair NAFTA’s environmental institutions.
      • NAFTA’s environmental institutions are poorly funded by the three governments.”