The WTO's attempts at agricultural trade liberalization have raised concerns that the current movement towards globalization fails to adequately address environmental issues. Even in developed countries, where agriculture at the farm-level represents a small fraction of total GDP, trade-induced changes in agricultural production levels could have considerable environmental effects. This timely new book analyzes the possible linkages between agricultural trade liberalization and the environment, and assesses the negative and positive impacts of any possible reforms. The authors begin by providing an extensive empirical examination of the potential environmental consequences of agricultural trade liberalization at both a global and US level. However, t only might changes in trade policy affect the environment, but environmental policy can also influence trade. Consequently, the authors conduct a detailed study of the impact of US agri-environmental policies on trade flows. To conclude, they investigate conceptual and policy aspects of the important inter-relationship between agricultural trade and unintentional environmental by-products, transboundary concerns and multilateral environmental agreements. In the context of ongoing trade negotiations, this comprehensive book provides an objective overview of the potential ecomic consequences of the relationship between trade and the environment. It will be of special interest to agricultural, development and environmental ecomists as well as policymakers and policy analysts confronting the practical problems of environmental and ecomic assessment.
Edited by Joseph Cooper, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, US. He served during 2005 to 2006 as a senior economist in charge of agriculture and natural resources at the President's Council of Economic Advisors