Introduction, Section III

  • Charles F. Bonser


The New Transatlantic Agenda created by President Clinton and the leadership of the European Union in 1996 also highlights, as a key concern for the Atlantic alliance, the improvement of national and regional environmental quality. Therefore, in the final section of this book the authors focus on what might be referred to as a major externality of the global economic expansion of the post-Cold War period. This is the interaction between the environmental problems associated with an expanding and more affluent world population, and the economic institutions that have developed to serve this population. Some of the questions pursued in this final section are:
  • Does a more liberal trade regime threaten national environmental sovereignty? Do national environmental rules and regulations pose unreasonable barriers to trade? What are the issues and challenges to achieve both trade and environmental goals?

  • How might the standardization of manufacturing processes prove helpful or harmful to local, national, regional, and global environments? Should voluntary environmental management systems begin to replace command and control measures for environmental protection?

  • Why are U.S. and EU-member governments seldom “in synch” on trade and environmental issues? To enhance cooperation between the U.S. and the EU, how might Atlantic partners anticipate and overcome obstacles bearing on trade and environmental policy?

  • Many advocates of sustainable development urge that sustainable societies can be realized only at local levels of organization, with modes of production kept small to protect the environment and to give average citizens more power over economic decisions. Can globalizing economic forces be reconciled with the demands of sustainable development?

  • Do post-industrial nations’ strict environmental rules compel pollutionprone industries to relocate to countries where environmental rules are weak?

  • How might the transatlantic partners encourage multinational companies (MNCs) to dedicate more private initiative to serve the public interest in environmental improvement?


Environmental Policy World Trade Organization Dispute Resolution Environmental Management System Multinational Company 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

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  • Charles F. Bonser

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