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Economic Integration and the Environment
A Political-economic Perspective. New Horizons in Environmental Economics Series
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.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'... Bommer's book provides an important contribution to the debate about the relationship between trade and the environment. Its limitations raise questions and will further promote this debate. It should be interesting in particular to researchers and policymakers.' -- Bettina Lange, Review of European Community and International Environmental Law 'Rolf Bommer has produced a comprehensive, transparent and well written volume on the complicated relationships between economic integration and the environment. This book is indispensable for anyone interested in this important area on whatever continent.' -- Henk Folmer, Wageningen Agricultural University and Tilburg University, the Netherlands 'Rolf Bommer shows that there is much to gain, both economically and environmentally, from economic integration. His work is a significant step forward in our understanding of the value of cooperation between nations.' -- John B. Braden, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US