NAFTA and the Environment

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Liberalizing trade through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and similar regional treaties raises hopes for increased prosperity for the Western hemisphere. A united North American marketplace would have a combined purchasing power of more than $6 trillion, making it the world's largest trade bloc.

Two major controversies surround free trade agreements: job loss and environmental protection. NAFTA opponents from organized labor and manufacturers fearing low-cost competition from Latin America have joined forces with environmentalists who fear U.S. companies may move to Mexico to take advantage of lax environmental regulations.

This collection of papers explores the environmental issues of liberalized trade. Contrary to the scenarios of environmentalists, contributors to this book argue that liberalized trade can lead to enhanced environmental protection through increased prosperity and implementation of market-based environmental policies.

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