Firms that are involved in international trade and investment have to deal with certain obstacles and are presented with various strategic opportunities as there are new forms of environmental regulations and recent improvements in trade liberalization. Since the quota and tariff barriers under regional and multilateral trade agreements have been removed, new markets have been opened abroad. However, it is important to note that these firms utilize such barriers to protect themselves from international competition. The need thus arises for both governments and firms to come up with new alternative strategies for maintaining shelter in the home country while enabling access to international markets. While industries have traditionally relied on alliances with environmental groups and the application of local and national environmental regulation, international trade has resulted in new international-level opportunities. Corporate strategies in North America have thus been grounded on the principles of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
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