Since the 1980s, bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) have been used by countries around the world to remove barriers, open markets and create new, higher standards in areas such as investment, intellectual property and now digital trade. Behind the U.S. approach to trade deals is the recognition that as global markets grow and emerging markets grow, so do trade and investment opportunities. A sound global environmental trade policy does not harm – it promotes – global economic well-being. Provided that the gains from sound policies are adequately offset, developed and emerging economies can benefit from greater economic prosperity through these policies. Economic efficiency and justice are encouraged. The argument is applied to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1992, trade agreements such as the Tokyo Round and the Uruguay Round of GATT and NAFTA, as well as 200 other lesser-known trade agreements, have benefited the United States by significantly reducing barriers to foreign trade. Since its introduction in 1994 and despite a Mexican recession, NAFTA has kept its promise. U.S. trade relations with Canada and Mexico are better, consumer goods prices are lower, the region is more competitive with fast-growing trading blocs in Europe and Asia, and trade and investment throughout North America have increased. In fact, U.S.
exports to Mexico increased by 70% from 1993 to 1997, despite a sharp decline in Mexican domestic demand. .