Much ecological damage in Third World countries is associated with commodity production for the world market. Competition in commodity markets prevents commodity-exporting countries from making the costs of environmental preservation and reconstruction a recurrent element in pricing. This article argues that an international commodity agreement (ICA) can be the institutional locus where environmental externalities associated with commodity production can be integrated into a price system. Such extended or transformed ICAs are here labeled “New International Commodity Agreements” (NICAs). They include a price markup for environmental preservation and reconstruction in commodity-producing developing countries. This price markup can be levied in the form of an export tax or in the form of a surcharge on import tariffs. The conclusion of NICAs maybe facilitated by the Common Fund for Commodities which has recently come into operation.
- Environmental externalities; commodity trade; commodity agreements; developing countries
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