EPA's Role in International Trade
- EPA's Role in the Trade Agreement Process
- United States-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA)
- Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee
Developing Environment-related Provisions in Proposed Trade Agreements
- minimize the domestic effects of cross-boundary pollutants,
- ensure that U.S. industry has a level playing field on which to compete, and
- increase protection of human health and the environment globally.
Implementing Trade Related Environmental Activities
- EPA's Role in the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
- Capacity-Building Programs Under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
- EPA Collaboration with Singapore
Reviewing Environmental Effects of Proposed Trade Agreements
United States-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA)
In 2019, the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Free Trade Agreement was finalized to update and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which itself had been finalized in 1992 and operational as of 1994. The USMCA went into force on July 1, 2020, and with combined trilateral trade flows of over $1.2 trillion, the USMCA is the largest free trade area in the world outside of the European Union.
In contrast to the NAFTA, the USMCA environmental obligations are incorporated into the trade agreement itself rather than in a side agreement on environmental cooperation. Fully enforceable and subject to dispute resolution, the USMCA environmental obligations:
- require the Parties to effectively enforce their environmental laws,
- promote the protection of coastal and marine environments,
- seek to improve air quality,
- ensure market access for U.S. environmental technologies, goods and services,
- promote conservation and combat trafficking in wildlife, timber, and fish,
- require Parties to fulfill obligations under seven multilateral environmental agreements,
- promote public participation in implementation, and
- complement the modernized trilateral Environmental Cooperation Agreement, which has replaced the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).
EPA continues to work with institutions previously established alongside NAFTA to address environmental issues in the North American region. EPA works through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, promote the effective enforcement of environmental law, and monitor the environmental effects of the USMCA. This includes the mechanism, originally created in the NAAEC, allowing any non-governmental organization or person in any of the three countries to assert that one of the Parties (i.e., the United States, Canada, and Mexico) is failing to enforce its environmental laws. EPA has also been an active participant as a member of the Board of Directors for the North American Development Bank (NADB).
- United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Free Trade Agreement
- North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
- EPA's Role with the North American Development Bank (NADB)
- Learn more about the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC)