Trade and Environment: Difficult Policy Choices at the Interface

The relationship between fostering international trade and protecting the environment is an ongoing issue in the global policy agenda, and comes to the fore in an acute fashion in the process of revising the World Trade Organization's Agreements, which is now in hand. But as this volume illustrates, there have often been profound differences of perspective, even clashes of interest, between the rich industrialized and developing countries. The contributors to this volume seek to clarify the issues involved, including how trade impacts on the environment, and the positive and negative effects which environmental concerns can have on trade. The authors share one particular concern: to convince Third World countries that it is in their interest to take environmental concerns seriously -- both in order to protect their resource base at home and to gain greater access to markets in the North. Several strategies and policies to this end are examined in detail, including greener, cleaner production processes and setting ISO 14000-compatible environmental standards. The South's concerns in relation to trade liberalization and the environment are set out. And concrete proposals are made as to how the South ought to proceed in identifying and pursuing its interests in future trade negotiations. The combination of macro-level analysis and micro-level case studies, inclusion of both North and South perspectives, explanation of the evolving attempts to elaborate regimes to guide foreign investment, and constant concern to contribute to a constructive and concrete policy agenda all make this book one that should be useful to scholars, policymakers and negotiators alike.