"Everyone needs to know about this stuff," Wallace said in a
telephone interview on Thursday. "It's affecting all our lives. ...
These agreements aren't just about whether you can have a quota or a
tariff on meat but whether you can inspect the meat. It's about
whether you're allowed to have pesticide standards on imported
One of the more startling examples she will discuss in her talk
today and Saturday at the Newport Beach Public Library is the case of
a Canadian firm named Methanex, which is suing the federal government
for three-quarters of a billion dollars over California's decision to
phase out the gasoline additive MTBE.
"Where are they suing them? Would a U.S. court hear a case like
that?" Wallach said. "No way. They're suing in a secret NAFTA
Wallach is the first in a series of experts who once again are
causing the Distinguished Speakers series to live up to its name. In
March, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will talk on
environmental policy and law. In April, General Anthony Zinni will
speak on the American military. And former U.N. Ambassador and Nancy
Soderberg will speak on foreign policy in May.
"We like to find speakers who challenge people to think, who
stimulate debate," said Jacquelyn Beauregard Dillman, co-chairwoman
of the lecture series. "We're very excited about this year's