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The Effects of NAFTA on the Environment

Author

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  • Robert K. Kaufmann
  • Peter Pauly
  • Julie Sweitzer

Abstract

This paper reviews the impacts of NAFTA on the environment. Discussion focuses on the degree to which economic conditions in Canada, Mexico, and United States are consistent with the assumptions on which the benefits of free trade are based. Specifically, we discuss how NAFTA may exacerbate or alleviate the environmental impacts of economic activity via environmental externalities, the rate and efficiency of resource extraction, increased income, increased trade and transportation, and harmonizing environmental policy among nations at different levels of economic development. Because of difficulties in comparing different types of environmental impacts, we do not offer a conclusion about the overall effect of NAFTA on the environment, positive or negative. Rather, we argue that NAFTA must preserve the rights of all affected parties to intervene so that the costs and benefits associated with a particular project that arises out of increased trade can be evaluated on a case by case basis in the same imperfect way that such issues are addressed within the confines of a single nation.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert K. Kaufmann & Peter Pauly & Julie Sweitzer, 1993. "The Effects of NAFTA on the Environment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 217-240.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1993v14-03-a10
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. William D. Nordhaus, 1994. "Locational Competition and the Environment: Should Countries Harmonize Their Environmental Policies?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1079, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Jayadevappa, Ravishankar & Chhatre, Sumedha, 2000. "International trade and environmental quality: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 175-194, February.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    4. David I. Stern, 2005. "The Effect of NAFTA on Energy and Environmental Efficiency in Mexico," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0511, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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