An article published on Monday January 4th, 2016 in Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/weighing-pacific-trade-deals-green-demands-411396, states that the Trans Pacific Partnership agenda originally stated that it would break ground on new environmental issues and would include strong and enforceable environmental protection rules. Now that the final text is released, environmentalists and anti-globalization activists are not impressed and they have criticized the TPP for, among numerous other things, having inadequate environmental protections. It appears that those critics are correct. The TPP’s environmental chapter is weaker in almost every way when compared to past trade agreements. Over the past 20 years environmentalists have been constantly demanding more environmental protection as a condition for opening up new markets. Even though the TPP has fewer environmental protections in it, evidence has shown that a country’s environmental quality increases with economic growth as property rights develop and industries become less wasteful than before. Based off this, the lack of enforceable environment protection rules in the TPP might not even be an issue, or it could be a major one. Either way the TPP should open up a lot of new markets that didn’t previously exist and promote free trade.
Should we be worried that the TPP doesn’t have a strict set of environmental rules? Will the lack of environmental rules actually benefit the countries involved?