'Worse than Bush': Green Groups Sound Alarm Over Obama's Trade Deal

The environment chapter of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which was leaked to the public Wednesday by WikiLeaks, is “unacceptable” and would render President Obama’s environmental trade record “worse than George W. Bush’s,” environmental groups warned in a joint analysis hours after the leak.

As WikiLeaks reported Wednesday morning, the draft environmental chapter as it now stands renders any potential environmental protections “toothless,” as it lacks enforcement mechanisms between countries, such as penalties or criminal sanctions, and is largely “a public relations exercise.”

According to the Sierra Club, The World Wildlife Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, who together analyzed the document, the TPP’s environmental regulations differ from previous U.S. trade agreements, which have included such “enforcement mechanisms.”

“Instead of committing TPP countries to ‘adopt, maintain, and implement’ the laws, regulations, and all other measures to fulfill its obligations under [Multilateral Environmental Agreements] and subject those obligations to dispute settlement,” the groups write in their joint analysis, “each TPP country is merely committed to ‘affirm its commitment’ to implement the MEAs to which it is a party.”

“If the environment chapter is finalized as written in this leaked document, President Obama’s environmental trade record would be worse than George W. Bush’s,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “This draft chapter falls flat on every single one of our issues – oceans, fish, wildlife, and forest protections – and in fact, rolls back on the progress made in past free trade pacts.”