Advice to Council 01-02 — Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement (FTAA)

J/00-01/ADV/01-02/Rev. 8

Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement (FTAA)

The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC):

IN ACCORDANCE with its mandate to provide advice to Council;

HAVING discussed, during its regular session 01-01, held on 16 March 2001, the absence of environmental issues in the discourse leading to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada, on a Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement;

NOTING plans for a meeting of Environment Ministers of the Americas to be held on 29-30 March 2001, in Montreal, Quebec;

URGES the Council, through its members, to ensure that a FTAA agreement include mechanisms to deal with the linkages between environment and trade. An example of such a mechanism is the CEC, established in the environmental side agreement to NAFTA, which, among other objectives, has been able to implement programs related to:

a)    the sound management of chemicals;
b)    the collection and dissemination of data related to the emission of toxic chemicals;
c)    identification of strategies to reduce the environmental impact of increased activity in trade corridors;
d)    protection of shared wildlife species such as migratory birds and the Monarch butterfly;
e)    environmental protection and environmental enforcement; and
f)     trade in green goods and shade coffee.

JPAC further recommends that any provisions in a FTAA agreement that permits investors to claim damages for regulatory, or policy actions, must not interfere with the ability of any Party to protect the environment or natural resources.