trade and environment

Trump Administration Announces Revisions of NAFTA with Strengthened Environmental Provisions

Revised Environmental Obligations in Preliminary Agreement With Mexico Appear to Track Environmental Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just announced that it reached preliminary agreement with Mexico for a renegotiated NAFTA. The 24-year old trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. was a major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a centerpiece of USTR activity in the Trump administration. The …


Roy Cohn and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

“Who Are Those Guys?”

I don’t care what the law says. I want to know who the judge is. — Roy M. Cohn I basically agree with Jim’s and Dan’s assessments of the substantive provisions of the TPP when it comes to environmental issues. (I have real problems with the Intellectual Property provisions, but that is another matter). For …


The Commerce Department Undercuts Clean Energy

The Commerce Department’s decision to levy tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports has been in the news for a couple of days, but should receive more attention for envir0nmental policy wonks than it has so far.  The Obama Administration has basically decided to impair clean energy production with its decision, even if the tariffs are …


Property Rules, Liability Rules, Patents, and Climate Change

I suggested a few weeks ago that India and the United States might try foster climate cooperation by having India agree to use climate-friendly technology and the United States asgree not to pursue any legal actions under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property treaty. But of course there is a catch: at some point inventors …


US-India Climate Dialogue Agenda I: A TRIPS Protocol

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away — well, no, actually two months ago in Washington, DC, President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Singh inked something called the US-India Climate Dialogue.  It was a pretty transparent attempt to salvage something from the fact that India would never agree to binding emissions cuts (and …


Trade laws and climate change regulation

Co-authored by Jesse Swanhuyser, UCLA Law class of 2011, formerly a fair trade advocate in California and Washington D.C. A prior version of this article first appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, on July 23. As discussed in other posts on this blog, last month was particularly challenging for those working toward national and international climate agreements. At …