February 2003

Opportunities and Challenges to Advance Environmental Protection in the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Negotiations

By John Audley

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The U.S. Congress has instructed the administration to treat environmental issues as a key objective in trade negotiations, and this challenge will be formidable in newly launched talks with Central American governments. Audley offers guidelines for the U.S. - Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that will result in a trade regime that promotes environmental protections, strengthens rule of law, and encourages good governance in the region. Steps to achieve this ambitious agenda include building on environmental protection efforts already underway; creating trade-related incentives, such as promotion of green product exports; and including good governance provisions: dispute settlement proceedings, environmental reviews, and participation and transparency measures.

About the Author
John Audley is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he directs the Trade, Equity, and Development Project. Before joining the Endowment in April 2001, he was the trade policy coordinator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was responsible for developing and presenting EPA positions on U.S. trade policy.


Also Read on CAFTA: Sandra Polaski's "Central America and the U.S. Face Challenge-and Chance for Historic Breakthrough-on Workers' Rights"