Key environmental provisions in USMCA

ENVIRONMENT

The United States, Mexico, and Canada have agreed to the most advanced, most comprehensive, highest-standard chapter on the Environment of any trade agreement. Like the Labor chapter, the Environment chapter brings all environmental provisions into the core of the agreement and makes them enforceable.

Key Achievement: Most Comprehensive Set of Enforceable Environmental Obligations

The Environment chapter includes the most comprehensive set of enforceable environmental obligations of any previous United States agreement, including obligations to combat trafficking in wildlife, timber, and fish; to strengthen law enforcement networks to stem such trafficking; and to address pressing environmental issues such as air quality and marine litter.

Environment obligations include:

  • Prohibitions on some of the most harmful fisheries subsidies, such as those that benefit vessels or operators involved in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
  • New protections for marine species like whales and sea turtles, including a prohibition on shark-finning and commitment to work together to protect marine habitat.
  • Obligations to enhance the effectiveness of customs inspections of shipments containing wild fauna and flora at ports of entry, and ensure strong enforcement to combat IUU fishing.
  • First-ever articles to improve air quality, prevent and reduce marine litter, support sustainable forest management, and ensure appropriate procedures for environmental impact assessments.
  • Robust and modernized mechanisms for public participation and environmental cooperation.

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