Nafta and the future of Mexico-U.S. border environmental management

Stephen P. Mumme

Idioma original

Resumen

Con el anuncio reciente de que los gobiernos de Canadá, México y Estados Unidos habían llegado a un consenso sobre los acuerdos suplementarios al TLC sobre el medio ambiente, se hizo evidente que el TLC formará parte de un régimen trinacional para el manejo del medio ambiente. Ya que el congreso estadounidense está en proceso de implementar el TLC, nos conviene preguntar, ¿qué implica el TLC para el futuro del manejo del medio ambiente en la frontera méxico-estadounidense? Aunque la respuesta puede ser especulativa, ésta puede buscarse en el texto del mismo TLC, incluyendo sus acuerdos suplementarios: ¿cómo se puede adaptar al régimen existente en el medio ambiente fronterizo, y qué capacidad tiene este régimen para acomodar tendencias ambientales ya presentes en la región? El artículo analiza cómo cada uno de estos elementos contribuye a las interrogantes planteadas anteriormente.


ABSTRACT

With the recent announcement of agreement on supplemental environmental accords by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, it now appears NAFTA may indeed become part of the trinational environmental management regime. As the United States Congress moves to authorize NAFTA's implementation, it is fruitful to ask what it means for the future of environmental management along the Mexico-United States border.

While speculative, the answer may be sought in the text of the NAFTA agreement, including the supplemental accords, its fit to the extant environmental regime for the border area, and the capacity of that regime to accommodate environmental trends now in place in the region. The remainder of this essay analyzes each of these elements as they shape an answer to the stated question.

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Referencias

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Mexican Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología, Integrated Environmental Plan for the Mexican-U.S. Border Area (First Stage, 1992-1994). Washington, D.C.: EPA, February 1992.

Stephen P. Mumme, "Environmentalists, NAFTA, and North American Environmental Management," Journal of Environment and Development,Vol. 2. No. 1 (Winter 1993): 205-220.

For discussion, see Justin Ward and Glenn T. Prickett, "Prospects of a Green Trade Agreement," Environment, Vol. 34, No. 4 (May 1992): 2-3.

Stephen P. Mumme, "Environmentalists, NAFTA, and North American Environmental Management," Journal of Environment and Development, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter l993): 214.

Treaty regarding Utilization of Waters of Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande, February 3, 1944, United States and Mexico, Stat. 1219, T.S. No. 994 (hereinafter 1944 Water Treaty).

Stephen P. Mumme and Scott T. Moore, "Agency Autonomy in Transboundary Resource Management: the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico," Natural Resources Journal, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Summer 1990): 661-684.

Minute No. 242, Permanent and Definitive Solution to the International Problem of the Salinity of the Colorado River. T.I.A.S. No. 7708; Minute No. 261, Recommendations for the Solution to the Border Sanitation Problems. Reproduced in California Western International Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Spring 1981); 233-235.

Agreement on Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment In the Border Area, August 14, 1983. United States-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 10827 (hereinafter La Paz Agreement).

Annexes signed thus far address hazardous emergency contingency planning, transboundary transfers of hazardous waste, smelter emissions in the Sonora-Arizona border region, sewage management in the Tijuana-San Diego border region, and air quality management in the Ciudad Juárez-El Paso metropolitan area.

Stephen P. Mumme, "New Directions in United States-Mexican Transboundary Environmental Management: A Critique of Current Proposals," Natural Resources Journal. Vol. 32, No. 3 (Summer 1992): 539-562.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Mexican Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología, Integrated Environmental Plan for the Mexican-U.S. Border Area (First Stage, 1992-94). Washington, D. C.: EPA. February 1992.

Ibid, see Section V, p. 47.

North American Free Trade Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America, the Goverment of Canada, and the Government of the United Mexican States, Vol. I. Washington, D. C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992. See, in particular, Chapter 1, on Objectives, and Chapter 7, on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards.

Inside U.S. Trade. "Special Report: NAFTA Draft Text on the Environment." Washington, D.C., August 20, 1993:2-16.

Canada is partially exempted from the procedure for implementing sanctions. Under the supplemental environmental agreement, should Canada reject CEC sanctions against it, the CEC must take the case to a Canadian court, whose decision is final in the matter. See Keith Bradsher, "3 Nations Resolve Issues Holding Up Trade Pact Vote," New York Times,August 14, 1993:A1.

The Clinton Administration, The NAFTA: Expanding U.S. Exports, Jobs, and Growth: Clinton Administration Statement on the North American Free Trade Agreement Washington, D.C.: Office of President, July 1993: Section VI.

For discussion, see Cathryn Thorup, "'Citizen Diplomacy and Cross-Border Coalitions," Enfoque, Spring 1993: 1; Borderlines, "Arizona and Sonora Get It Together," Vol. 1, No. 3 (July 1993): 1 -5.

Embassy of Mexico, Mexico Environmental Issues: Fact Sheets. Washington, D. C.: Office of Press and Public Affairs, 1992. The U.S. and Mexico are currently pursuing another supplemental agreement that would create a Border Environmental Financing Facility situated, possibly, in the Inter-American Development Bank, with authority to issue revenue bonds aimed at financing border infrastructure to improve the environment. Additional lending authority may be created at the World Bank directed at border projects. All in all, some 6-8 billion dollars may be forthcoming from these initiatives. See Keith Bradsher, "Buchanan Joins the Foes of Trade Pact, " New York Times, August 27,1993; and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, "The Funding of Environmental Infrastructure Projects in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region."Washington, D.C.: Press Release, August 1993.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Review of U.S.-Mexico Environmental Issues (Draft). Washington, D.C., October 1991:58-67.

Stephen P. Mumme, "New Directions In United States-Mexican Transboundary Environmental Management: A Critique of Current Proposals," Natural Resources Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Summer 1992): 539-562.

Cliff Metzner, U.S.-Mexico Border Environmental Issues and Future Challenges. San Diego: Institute of Regional Studies of the Californias, July 9, 1993; International Transboundary Resources Center/Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, Proposal for a U.S. -Mexico International Boundary Environmental Commission. Albuquerque: Transboundary Resources Center, School of Law, University of New Mexico, April 1992.

Article 24, Section A) provides the IBWC with authority "to initiate and carry on investigations and develop plans for the works which are to be constructed or established in accordance with the provisions of this and other treaties or agreements in force between the two countries"; Section C) gives IBWC power "to exercise and discharge the specific powers and duties entrusted to the Commission by this and other treaties and agreements in force between the two countries, and to carry into execution and prevent the violation of the provisions of those treaties and agreements."

Article 2 provides that "the Commission or either of its two Sections may employ such assistants and engineering and legal advisers as it may deem necessary." Article 24, as seen above, gives IBWC power "to initiate and carry on investigations and develop plans." Article 25 empoweres IBWC to "establish a body of rules and regulations to govern its procedure, consistent with the provisions of this Treaty and of Articles III and VII of the Convention of March 1, 1889 and subject to the approval of both Governments."





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