Does free trade contribute to the deterioration of the environment?
This important book offers a fresh look at the trade-environment debate from a political-economic perspective. It provides an extensive analysis of the environmental consequences of free trade, and examines how trade affects environmental regulation in this age of regional and global economic integration.
The book begins by providing a useful review of the literature on the environment-trade link and the effects of trade on environmental regulation. It is demonstrated that environmental regulation may affect trade and investment patterns, and as a consequence the competitiveness of a country or region. Using the North American Free Trade Agreement as a case study, the author examines the political influence of environmentalists and industry sub-groups on pollution standards in the United States. Rolf Bommer also discusses the European experience, and reveals that the European Union may affect pollution regulation considerably and increase the chance of higher environmental standards. He concludes that free trade offers the opportunity to introduce tighter pollution regulation due to the political influence of interest groups on environmental policy making.
Economic Integration and the Environment will be welcomed by environmental economists, those interested in international economics as well as policymakers and practitioners.