21 Feb U.S. Concludes CAFTA Environmental Side Agreements
The U.S. announced Friday that it has concluded the Environmental Cooperation Agreement supplementing the environmental provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). Unlike other environmental side agreements, this agreement establishes a permanent Environmental Cooperation Commission composed of permanent representatives from the environmental agencies of each country. Moreover, in a nod toward criticisms of lack of transparency, the Commission will hold public hearings of its meetings and seek input from private businesses and organizations.
Is this all window-dressing? Maybe. But it does represent two important trends for these kinds of trade agreements: more and more public disclosure of internal decisionmaking and increased reliance on agency-to-agency administrative cooperation.