Environment and Trade in the Western Hemisphere

John Audley
Edward Sherwin

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IN DECEMBER 1994, at the behest of then–U.S. president Bill Clinton, the leaders of the 34 Western Hemisphere democracies convened in Miami for the first comprehensive hemispheric summit in more than 25 years. The assembled heads of state pledged that their countries would forge a path toward regional integration based on four overarching principles: Governments should build strong democratic institutions, prosperity should be promoted through free trade and economic cooperation, poverty and discrimination should be eliminated, and the natural environment should be preserved through policies promoting sustainable development. Seven and a half years later, the promise of that first Summit of the Americas has only partly been realized. The 34 governments have made substantial progress on their second goal—economic integration—through negotiations on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which is expected to go into effect in 2005. However, they have accomplished little in the name of sustainable development.

This new working paper describes the dual challenges of building economies and protecting the environment. John Audley and Edward Sherwin demonstrate how political pressures in industrial and developing countries force linkages between efforts to achieve both objectives simultaneously, and conclude with a prescription for policy makers that addresses the environment and development needs of the hemisphere's countries by giving new mandates to existing multilateral institutions.

About the Authors

John Audley is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment and director of the its Trade, Environment, and Development Project. He is the author of A Greener Fast Track: Putting Environmental Protection on the Trade Agenda (Carnegie Endowment Working Paper No. 22) and coauthor of Overhauling the WTO: Opportunity at Doha and Beyond (Carnegie Endowment Policy Brief No. 6).

Edward Sherwin is a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, working on both the Trade, Environment, and Development and the Public Role for the Private Sector projects. He will be attending Harvard Law School in Fall 2002.

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