October 25, 2020

Volume X, Number 299


October 23, 2020

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Changes to Environmental Provisions of the USMCA Trade Agreement

The original text of the United States-Mexico – Canada Trade Agreement (“USMCA”) was amended by the Parties to the Agreement to clarify certain commitments made with respect to environmental and trade matters.  These amendments sought to clarify that the Agreements listed below could not be used to impair, modify or reduce the rights of investors and their investments made in accordance with the provisions of USMCA:

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), done at Washington, March 3, 1973.
  • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, agreed in Montreal, September 16, 1987.
  • Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, done at London, February 17, 1978.
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, signed at Ramsar, Feb. 2, 1971.
  • Convention on Antarctic Marine Living Resources, formed in Canberra, May 20, 1980.
  • International Whaling Convention, signed in Washington, Dec. 2, 1946.
  • Inter-American Tropical Tuna Convention, signed in Washington, May 31, 1949.

In the event that one of the Parties to the USMCA believes that an investment made by one of its nationals has been impaired, modified or reduced because of one of the above-named Agreements, it must follow the procedures set out in Article 31.4 of the USMCA, which requires the Parties to make an effort to resolve the issues in question.  If the Parties are unable to reach a resolution on their own, the matter will be submitted to a Panel.  The Party which has implemented the measure allegedly impairing, modifying or reducing rights under the USMCA has the burden of proof to demonstrate there is no such effect.

*This GT Alert is limited to non-U.S. matters and law.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 139



About this Author

Erick Hernández Gallego, Environmental, Energy and Resources, Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Erick Hernández represents domestic and international clients on environmental and energy matters, including corporate finance, healthcare, regulatory compliance and real estate matters. Erick has represented clients in several project finance, mergers and acquisitions and electric energy tenders, as well as hydrocarbons tender procedures, both in accordance to the new energy reform in Mexico.

Erick has been practicing Mexican environmental, energy, real estate, administrative and regulatory law for more than 15 years, advising Mexican and...

+52 55.5029.0060
Rubén Alejandro Ortiz Cervera Energy & Environmental Attorney Greenberg Traurig Mexico City, México

Rubén Ortiz focuses his practice on environmental, energy, regulatory and real state matters.

Rubén has assisted national and foreign clients on matters related to waste management, construction of telecommunication networks, infrastructure developments at the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone and natural protected areas, construction and operation of wind and solar farms on environmental matters, as well as obligations related to the transportation and supply of oil and gas. He has participated on multiple due diligence processes on environmental, energy and regulatory matters.


  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Environmental
  • Regulatory
  • Real Estate


  • Energy & Natural Resources 
  • Environmental 
  • Regulatory & Compliance 
  • Latin America Practice
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