October 1, 2001

October 1, 2001 | News Releases on Energy and Environment

Free Trade Can Help Protect Environment, Analysts Say

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2001-Free trade is a catalyst for improving a country's environment as well as its economy, which is another reason Congress should give the president Trade Promotion Authority, a new Heritage Foundation paper says.

Contrary to what some environmental activists say, countries with open economies have better environmental records-and the best way for countries to improve their economies is through the free trade that Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) allows, Heritage trade experts Ana Eiras and Brett Schaefer write.

"Economic growth is achieved through greater economic liberalization, including free trade," they write. "Countries with higher incomes are better able to afford economic protection. So those who are concerned with protecting the environment should support a trade promotion authority that effectively advances free trade."

The authority allows Congress to approve trade deals negotiated by the president on a quick up-or-down vote.

Eiras and Schaefer cite the United States as an example of how it's possible to have both a clean environment and an open economy.

They recommend that Congress give President Bush the authority without insisting that he make environmental demands of developing nations that want to trade with the United States. Environmental concerns, they say, should be addressed separately from free-trade agreements.

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