Trade and Environment Linkages and Challenges Facing East Asian WTO Members
Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 112-142, February 2006
32 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007
The relationship between free trade and environmental protection has been under intense debate during the last two decades. Trade and environment (T&E) issues have undergone to various studies as a result. This article will examine T&E issues from the perspective of the environmental aspect and regulatory impact of trade rules. After fleshing out the legal perspectives of the analytical framework concerning T&E issues, a brief analysis of T&E issues in the GATT/WTO will be presented. East Asia is a region whose engine of growth lies in the promotion of free trade. This region has also been plagued with various environmental problems as a result of rapid industrialization. How this region can deal with T&E issues will be a main focus of this article. The main conclusion of this article is that T&E issues remain a big challenge to East Asia as both regional trade cooperation institutions, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and a complex web of free trade agreements concluded within or by East Asian WTO Members have paid insufficient attention to T&E issues. Regional practices and positions mainly adopt the GATT/WTO approach. It is suggested in the conclusion that East Asia, both as a region and in individual country, should at least start to study the environmental regulation impact of trade rules if the region is committed to the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment.
Keywords: trade and environment, FTA, East Asia, APEC, ASEAN
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