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NAFTA IS 'GREENEST TRADE AGREEMENT' IN U.S. HISTORY, SAYS MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE COALITION

 BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan International Trade Coalition (MITC) said today the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes further than any other international treaty in setting environmental standards for the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
 "In the last two years, Mexico has dramatically increased its environmental enforcement activities, closing over 1,000 polluting firms and increasing its enforcement budget," said Leslie Touma, executive director of MITC. "The best way to ensure that this process continues is by approving the NAFTA," Touma said.
 U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey ruled Wednesday that the Clinton administration must prepare a statement on the environmental impacts of the NAFTA before submitting it to Congress.
 "MITC supports the Clinton administration's plan to expeditiously appeal the court's decision," said Touma.
 The NAFTA will substantially improve and enhance the North American environment by:
 -- Expressly protecting federal, state and local environmental standards and assuring the right of each country to strengthen those standards.
 -- Providing that leading international environmental agreements will take precedence over any conflicting provision of the NAFTA.
 -- Not allowing any country to relax its environmental laws or standards to attract investment.
 Touma also said the economic development attributed to the NAFTA will provide the Mexican government the resources needed for environmental protection and development. The agreement also provides an opportunity for Michigan environmental companies who have the know- how and technology to assist Mexico in this area.
 "This was a back-door attempt by some anti-NAFTA environmental groups to kill the agreement," said Touma. "Without the NAFTA, none of its environmental provisions will take effect and there will be less attention and resources devoted to environmental concerns in Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border region. For these reasons, several leading environmental groups already have recognized the NAFTA as a 'green' trade agreement.
 "Delaying the agreement will hurt dozens of Michigan companies who are poised to increase exports to Mexico once the NAFTA is approved and Mexico's high trade barriers are reduced," Touma added.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Leslie Touma, executive director, Michigan International Trade Coalition, 313-456-8606/


CO: Michigan International Trade Coalition ST: Michigan IN: ENV SU:

MI -- DE020 -- 7844 07/01/93 15:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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