The biggest failure of the trade deals of the past 30 years (e.g., NAFTA) is that we have not required nor successfully monitored/enforced environmental regulations on the countries we are trading with. As a result, “clean” manufacturing here in the US has been put at a disadvantage to “dirty” manufacturing in other countries. Whereas this has helped us to dramatically clean up our local air, rivers, and soils, it has not been as effective as these agreements could have been for reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases. This was a major opportunity lost for curbing greenhouse gases on an international basis.
You would think we would have learned our lesson – trade and the health of our climate are one and the same thing. And yet we are signing new trade pacts (e.g., Mexico-Canada and China) that could have been a big step forward on curbing GHG emissions but they do not. If we allow this to happen it will be another major opportunity lost. It makes me sick to think how short-sighted we are. We need to have a loud outcry from labor, environmental groups, health organizations, farmers, manufacturers, and the general public that this is not acceptable. Call your representatives now to fix these major trade deal catastrophes before they go into effect.