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Reforming United States Trade Policy

Since 2000 GDAE researchers have conducted policy-oriented research so that policy-makers and advocates can develop a more empirical-based understanding of the relationship between trade policy and global development. Our work has been focused in three areas. We have extensively analyzed the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement in Mexico. We have also provided critical analyses of the proliferation of preferential trade agreements at the regional and bi-lateral level such as the now defunct Free Trade Area of the Americas and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Finally, we focus on negotiations at the World Trade Organization. To learn more about these specific areas of research and to download GDAE work see:

Lessons from NAFTA: Since 2000, GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program has carried out empirical research and analysis of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Mexico. The treaty succeeded in increasing trade and foreign investment, but that success has not translated into dynamic economic growth, job creation, or improvements in the standards of living of most Mexicans. The environmental costs of trade liberalization have also been high.

Preferential Trade Agreements: Given that the United States and other industrialized nations have received significant push-back from developing countries in global trade negotiations, there has been a proliferation of preferential trade treaties at the regional and bilateral levels. GDAE has tracked these negotiations and provides critical analyses of them from a development perspective.

The World Trade Organization: GDAE's Globalization and Sustainable Development Program is actively involved in analyzing the ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations as part of its research on trade and sustainable development. The goal is to promote trade rules that ensure environmental sustainability while leaving developing countries the "policy space" to stimulate dynamic development.



The Global Development and Environment Institute’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of economic integration in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the WTO and NAFTA's lessons for trade and development policy. The goal of the program is to identify policies and international agreements that foster sustainable development.

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