On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the governments of Mexico, Canada and the United States went into effect. Together with this trade agreement, the governments of the three countries entered into a side agreement on the environment: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). This agreement, also known as the Environmental Side Agreement, responded to some of the concerns of NAFTA critics. Some environmentalists believed NAFTA would promote environmentally insensitive and uncontrolled growth, and others thought the liberalization of trade would be used as a means to preempt stringent domestic environmental regulations.
Is NAFTA Up To Its Green Expectations? Effective Law Enforcement Under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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