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The politics of intergrating environment & trade: New Zealand's practice?

Luttrell, Karen M.
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This thesis argues participation and transparency should be vital elements of the institutional framework informing treaty making. This is particularly important where, in Westminster political systems, power to enter into treaties is concentrated in the executive arm of government. The degree that these elements are included in the institutional framework and evident in the process of treaty making will affect the extent that environmental concerns can be integrated in bilateral trade agreements. The results of the research undertaken on the Singapore and proposed Hong Kong Free Trade Agreements shows the these elements have not guaranteed environmentally significant integration because powerful economic interests and institutions have dominated the politics of integration and shaped the form integration takes. The extent that environmental concerns have been integrated into these free trade agreements is evaluated as weak, as they reflect an absence of substantive integration of environmental policies or measures to ensure the integration of environmental concerns. In the present political context, integration is a political process subject to the interplay between competing interests and goals. In order to secure a future for meaningful integration of environmental concerns in trade agreements fundamental institutional change is imperative.
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