TRADE- ENVIRONMENTAL LINKAGES NAFTA and the Environmental Side Agreement
The debate on trade and the environment has nurtured many articles and books on the relationship between the two concepts. Som ave focused on the intersection between trade and environmental regulations, wher .s others have studied the impact of increased trade on the world environmf This thesis in political science, feature the political implications from linking tradf Wld environmental concerns in international agreements. It asks why institutional linkages come into existence, and how they influence the outcome. This thesis argues that a process approach is necessary when studying the impact of linkages in international politics. Whereas the traditional negotiation analysis has developed substantial insights in negotiations techniques and games, the 'context' of negotiations have been devoted less attention. My aim is thus to show how the the linking of agreements as a political means might contribute to the understanding of negotiation outcomes.
This the si s asks why the North Americ an Agreement on Environmental Cooperation the NAFTA Environmental Side Agreement- was initiated and further if the motivation had any implications for the outcome. Putnam (1988) argues that linkages enable outcomes in international negotiations, as linkages between agreements or institutions increases the 'pot' available for distribution. The 'distrubutional effects' from agreements is not only relevant at the international table, but also among the constituency. The other perspective (Grieco 1990) argues that linkages might complicate negotiations as the stake increases when the inputs do. Discussing these two perspectives on linkages and their relevance to my case, I aim to show that linkages influence negotiations. My aim is not to conclude on the general effects of linkages, but to add 'a new item to our repertoire of way in which things happen' (Elster 1989).
In the second part I interpret the consequences of linkages on negotiations. I build on Putnam (1988). His model of how national-international politics interact is my point of departure. The role of the statesman as a strategic actor attempting to reconcile the domestic and international objects in a manner compatible with his own interests as well as domestic 'ratification' of international agreements are Putnam's answer to how the two levels interact. Concepts such as 'tied hands', 'veto' and 'ratification' are used as interpretative tools. The relations between the international parties in the negotiations is not dealt with in Putnam's model. I argue that in order to understand the negotiation outcome, especially with states as diverse as the US, Canada and Mexico, a theory on international relations add fruitful dimensions to the analysis. Grieco's (1990) argument on 'relative gains' and 'positionality' as key concepts explaining a states conduct in international relations, will be discussed. The perspectives are thus complementary, enlightening different aspects of the entanglement of the NAFTA and the Environmental Side Agreement.
I argue that the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation was initiated because of the pressure from the US national level on the international negotiations. Change of US president as well as the US institutional structure in trade negotiations explains why the pressure became effective. Secondly, the relation between the states explain why the other states agreed to unusual provisions sanctioning non-enforcement on national environmental laws. The effects from the domestic and international entanglement inside an enabling or impeding international structure are analysed to enlighten the consequences from the linkage strategy of the US president.