The Trade Act of 2002 explicitly gives Congress the power to determine whether environmental issues are effectively incorporated into U.S. trade negotiations through a process called Environmental Reviews—written assessments that examine the potential environmental benefits and costs of agreements under consideration. Earlier U.S. attempts at conducting these reviews have fallen short of providing timely and useful information to policy makers.

This policy brief argues that Congress needs to examine the methods and process of environmental reviews under the Trade Act of 2002 to ensure they are used to inform trade negotiations in a timely manner.

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About the Author
Kevin P. Gallagher
is a research associate with the Global Development and Environment Institute, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he examines the social and environmental effects of economic integration in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Mexico. He has written extensively on international economics, trade and environment, including most recently International Trade and Sustainable Development, and Transboundary Environmental Negotiation.

The Trade, Equity, and Development (TED) Series is part of an effort by Carnegie's Trade, Equity, and Development Project to broaden the debate surrounding trade liberalization to include perspectives not normally present in the Washington policy community.