Does Free Trade Increase Deforestation? The Effects of Regional Trade Agreements

This article provides new global evidence on the relationship between trade liberalization and deforestation. Using studies on events around the promulgation of regional trade agreements (RTAs), a large and statistically significant increase in deforestation was found in the 3 years following the promulgation of an RTA, which coincides with an increase in agricultural land conversion. According to the study, the results on deforestation and agricultural land expansion are driven by developing countries in the tropics, suggesting that trade liberalization not only increases net deforestation, but may also shifts deforestation to ecologically sensitive locations.

Content may require login or subscription