At the third Democratic primary debate last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren said that if she were elected president, she’d negotiate international trade deals “with environmentalists at the table.” Former Vice President Biden echoed her a few minutes later. The idea isn’t new: Departed climate candidate Jay Inslee also wrote provisions about getting environmentalists involved in trade into his climate plans.
There has never been meaningful environmental language baked into a U.S. trade deal. This includes the “NAFTA 2.0” deal that Trump negotiated with Canada and Mexico and that is currently pending in Congress, which, by design, doesn’t include the words “climate change” at all.
Warren is promising to change that. “America should lead global efforts to combat climate change, and trade policy is a crucial tool for promoting international cooperation,” Warren’s campaign told Grist via email. “In my administration, representatives from environmental groups will serve on key advisory committees so that they participate in negotiations and help shape trade agreements.”
So what are environmentalists’ priorities for a trade deal? Some demands from environmen... Read more