®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week
USTR Ordered to Appoint Environmentalist to FACA Panel
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CRE Regulatory Services
A federal district court in Seattle recently ordered USTR to appoint an environmental group representative to the Industry Sector Advisory Committee on Chemicals and Allied Products for Trade Policy Matters ("ISAC-3"). This is a FACA Advisory Group that was established to ensure that U.S. trade policies and negotiation objectives adequately reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. An environmental group, the Washington Toxics Coalition, sued the Government claiming that an environmental group representative was required in order to ensure that ISAC-3 was "fairly balanced" as required by FACA. The Government settled the case and nominated Brian Mannix, a researcher at the Mercatus Center, as the environmental group representative. The environmental group sued to enforce the settlement, claiming that Mr. Mannix was not sufficiently tied to the environmental community. The court agreed, even though it found Mr. Mannix to be eminently qualified in the field. The court's only objection was its conclusion that the settlement agreement required appointment of an environmental activist group representative. Learning from this decision, CRE's litigation board is considering a litigation strategy to ensure pro-competitive forces are adequately represented on FACA committees. Please send any suggestions.