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The Impact of NAFTA on Mexico's Environmental Policy

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A major controversy during the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement focused on the impact of NAFTA on Mexico's environment. This paper examines the evidence of impact specifically on Mexico's environmental policy. Criteria of impact are developed, and comparisons made for three periods: before 1990 as the baseline period; 1990–93 when NAFTA was being negotiated; and beginning in 1994 when NAFTA came into effect. Much evidence indicates that Mexico's environmental policymaking and enforcement did improve in the early 1990s while NAFTA was being debated. Some evidence also suggests that the NAFTA-influenced environmental commitment was sustained during the 1995 financial crisis. Thus it is concluded that NAFTA has contributed significantly to Mexico's environmental policy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Empresa, Madrid, 2: University of New Mexico

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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