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Does free trade harm the environment- Argument

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Does free trade harm the environment?

Environmentalists argue that trade liberalization harms the environment. The decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular have been the subject of much criticism. Carbaugh has described environmentalists' three primary assertions (Carbaugh, 2004):

1. Trade liberalization leads to a "race to the bottom" in environmental standards.
2. Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.
3. Trade liberalization encourages trade in products that create global pollution ("pollution havens").

What is the argument for and against each of these?

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Argument in favor of "Does free trade harm the environment":

Free trade harm the environment because trade liberalization has encourage exploitation of natural resources in developing or poor countries by global companies from developed nations for their commercial benefits. It has led to the race to bottom of environmental standards because these companies have tried to take ...

Solution Summary

Does free trade harm the environment?

Environmentalists argue that trade liberalization harms the environment. The decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular have been the subject of much criticism. Carbaugh has described environmentalists' three primary assertions (Carbaugh, 2004):

1. Trade liberalization leads to a "race to the bottom" in environmental standards.
2. Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.
3. Trade liberalization encourages trade in products that create global pollution ("pollution havens").

What is the argument for and against each of these?

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Does free trade harm the environment?

Environmentalists argue that trade liberalization harms the environment. The decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular have been the subject of much criticism. Carbaugh has described environmentalists' three primary assertions (Carbaugh, 2005):

1. Trade liberalization leads to a "race to the bottom" in environmental standards.

2. Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.

3. Trade liberalization encourages trade in products that create global pollution ("pollution havens").

Proponents of trade liberalization argue that freer trade might actually improve the quality of the environment. For example, the international environmental policy of the U.S. and other industrial nations is based on the "polluter-pays principle." This approach is intended to give producers the incentive to develop more pollution-control techniques (Carbaugh, 2005).

In this group project, you will recreate and evaluate the arguments and counter-arguments for all three of the environmentalists' assertions described above.

Part 1: Recreate the arguments/counter-arguments

As a group, use the Small Group Discussion Board to recreate the arguments for and against the three assertions noted above (six arguments total). You and your group mates should each choose one of the six arguments and present the argument to the group. (If there are not exactly six members in your group, divide the work as equitably as possible.) Approach this assignment as an exercise in critical thinking; your goal is to represent a party's argument as accurately and as thoroughly as possible. For each argument and counter-argument, present the following information:

1. The party you represent
2. Your party's interests or objectives
3. Your party's assertion
4. A summary of the available evidence that supports your party's assertion and/or examples that illustrate the assertion.

Part 2: Summarize and evaluate the arguments/counter-arguments
As a group, collaborate to write a 4-5 page document in which you:

1. Summarize each argument and counter-argument. Be sure to note the relevant parties in the debate and their interests/objectives.

2. Evaluate the arguments and counter-arguments. Be sure to address the following questions:
Can the conflicting positions in these debates be resolved? If yes, how? If not, why not? Your answer should be well-reasoned and supported with examples.

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