Following on the Summit of the Americas in Miami, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) affirms to the Council that we welcome the expansion of NAFTA to include other countries in our hemisphere and we strongly believe that Chile, and other countries wishing to join NAFTA, must commit to the same comprehensive process that led to NAFTA. More specifically, we believe that any country seeking accession to NAFTA must be required to concurrently seek accession to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (the Side Agreement) in the manner prescribed in Article 49 of the Agreement.
The Side Agreement is based on a recognition that free trade by itself will not assure protection of the environment and that standards and safeguards are necessary to ensure the mutually supporting goals of economic development and environment protection. JPAC affirms this principle as an essential part of the NAFTA process. With this in mind, JPAC will invite the Government of Chile to send an observer to its next session and recommends that Council consider doing the same.