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Environment chapter and Environmental Cooperation Agreement summary

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Agreement fact sheets

Canada is firmly committed to the principle that trade liberalization and environmental protection are mutually supportive. Promoting stable and transparent environmental regulatory frameworks and institutions, through trade agreements, provides Canadian investors with greater certainty on the environmental governance of our trading partners. Environmental provisions in free trade agreements (FTA), including the environment chapter in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), also support Canadian businesses in remaining competitive by ensuring that trading partners do not gain an unfair trading advantage by not enforcing their environment laws.

When NAFTA came into effect in 1994, it was the first free trade agreement to link the environment and trade through a historic parallel agreement on environmental cooperation, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CUSMA strengthens and modernizes environmental provisions by integrating them into an ambitious, comprehensive and enforceable environment chapter. The environment chapter establishes a binding and enforceable dispute resolution process to address any questions regarding compliance. This includes recourse to the broader CUSMA dispute settlement mechanism if countries are not able to resolve the matter through consultation and cooperation.

The CUSMA also includes a parallel Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). The ECA ensures that the unique institutions that have existed since 1994 under the NAAEC are retained and modernized, including the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and its Montreal-based Secretariat. Through the ECA, a modernized Commission will continue the legacy of effective trilateral environmental cooperation between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, including on global environmental issues of importance to Canada, such as climate change.

Technical summary of negotiated outcomes:

CUSMA Environment Chapter:

Environment Cooperation Agreement:

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