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. Carbaugh1 has described environmentalists' three primary assertions:
Trade liberalization leads to a "race to the bottom" in environmental standards.
Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.
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.2
how would you ? and can you? recreate and evaluate the arguments and counter-arguments for all three of the environmentalists' assertions described above.
if you were a group of four how would you 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. 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:
The party you represent
Your party's interests or objectives
Your party's assertion
A summary of the available evidence that supports your party's assertion and/or examples that illustrate the assertion.
Feel free to use the Cybrary or other Web resources to help recreate the arguments.
Part 2: Summarize and evaluate the arguments/counter-arguments
As a groupyou will need to Summarize each argument and counter-argument. Be sure to note the relevant parties in the debate and their interests/objectives.
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.
Trade liberalization effects are noted.