The Promised Land: Analysis of Environmental Factors of United States Investment in and Development of the Amazon Region in Brazil

Caswell, Daniel P. | January 1, 1982

This comment will look at the social, economic, and environmental situation pertaining to the Amazon region, the present regulation and policy, and foreseeable future trends, from three vantage points. The Brazilian perspective is one of conflicting interests, with the country’s dramatic need for economic development balanced against its need to prevent the Amazon, its most valuable resource, from total destruction. The international perspective is one of increasing awareness of the global impact of the deforestation of tropical moist forests, and the need to develop and implement regional and international policies to manage this resource. The United States perspective considers the advantages and disadvantages of unilateral state action to regulate transnational corporations’ environmental conduct overseas. The United States Government has a unique position of influence stemming from its ability to regulate transnational corporations based in the United States, and its opportunity to serve as a model for other nations and facilitate international action.