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Introduction: Impact assessment of trade-related policies and agreements: experience and challenges

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Since the mid-1990s strategic-level impact assessment has increasingly been applied to trade-related policies and agreements, to provide information to trade negotiators and decision-makers. Assessments can take the form of a SEA-type assessment at the national level, or a very complex assessment that evaluates the significance of economic, social and environmental impacts up to the global policy level. The articles in this special issue describe a wide range of experience in the development of assessment methodologies and improving practices and processes. The recent impasse in the Doha trade negotiations, predicated on sustainable development and poverty reduction, demonstrates more than ever the need for timely and relevant information on the economic, social and environmental implications of trade liberalisation.
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Keywords: trade; integrated assessment; SEA; policy appraisal; sustainable development; decision-making

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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