Free Trade and the Environment: Mexico, NAFTA, and Beyond

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Stanford University Press, 2004 - Political Science - 125 pages
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Free Trade and the Environment examines the impact economic integration has on the environment, using Mexico, which transformed itself from one of the most closed economies to one of the world's most open, as a case study. As new nations join the Free Trade Area of the Americas or the World Trade Organization, they are considering the path taken by Mexico nearly 20 years ago.

The author investigates two commonly held and opposing beliefs in the policy community about the impact of free trade on the environment. While some believe that free trade will raise incomes in developing countries, thus encouraging governments to protect the environment, others argue that free trade simply provides an incentive for heavily polluting industries to move to developing countries with lax environmental regulations. The author shows that for Mexico in fact neither position is correct, and concludes with suggestions for free trade policies that couple environmental benefits with economic integration.


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1 Mexico and the Trade and Environment Debates
2 Environmental Kuznets Curve for Mexico?
3 Is Mexico a Pollution Haven?
The Case of Industrial Air Pollution I
5 Is Mexico a Pollution Halo? The Case of Industrial Air Pollution II
6 Harmonizing Up? The Development and Performance of Mexicos Environmental Policy
Enabling National Environmental Policy
Technical Appendix

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About the author (2004)

Kevin P. Gallagher is a Research Associate at the Global Development and Environment Institute of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also Assistant Professor of International Economics in the Department of International Relations, Boston University. He has written and edited numerous books and articles on the relationship between economic integration and sustainable development and has served as an advisor to international institutions, governments, and nongovernmental organizations.