Trade liberalization, as promoted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), has become one of the dominant drivers and most controversial aspects of globalization. Trade sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) were introduced as a means of generating better understanding especially of the social and environmental impacts of trade liberalisation, and of making those impacts more consistent with sustainable development.
This book takes a hard look at the experience of Trade SIAs to date, and the extent to which they have achieved their objectives and improved the outcomes of trade negotiations. It proposes several ways in which Trade SIAs could be made more effective, and illustrates these in respect of controversial sectors in which trade liberalisation has been implemented or proposed, including commodities, services and investment. Finally the book makes proposals beyond SIA through which some of the conflicts between trade liberalization and sustainable development could be more effectively addressed.
Written by top researchers and experts on trade SIAs, this book is vital for researchers, academics, post-graduate students and policy makers working on any aspect of impact assessment, international trade or globalisation more generally. In addition, the book will provide a particularly useful background for those considering how the environment and trade interrelate at both global and regional levels, with some particular insights on climate change and trade policies.