PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENT POLICIES FOR DEVELOPMENT: A HANDBOOK, Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Jean-Christophe Maur, eds., The World Bank, 2011

Posted: 23 Jul 2011

Date Written: January 1, 2011


The linkage between trade and environment is a sensitive and controversial issue for many countries. Trade, like any other economic activity, has environmental implications, but whether trade as a policy instrument should address environmental concerns is a question to which there are no unanimous answers. Although practically all countries recognize the critical importance of the environment, a number of developing countries do not believe that addressing environment issues as part of trade agreements is necessarily the best approach. Accordingly, a few developing countries have entered into regional agreements on environmental issues that are distinct from preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Developed countries have been the primary drivers for PTAs comprising of environmental provisions. Neither approach has been proved more effective than the other.

This chapter does not seek to build a rationale for the trade-environment linkage or to determine whether environmental issues should be addressed in trade agreements or in stand-alone environmental agreements. The focus, instead, is on the main contours of the trade and environment debate at the multilateral level and on the increasing incorporation of environmental provisions into PTAs, especially those involving major developed economies. The chapter addresses issues relating to (a) the nature of the legal obligations emerging from provisions dealing with the environment in PTAs; (b) the potential economic costs of particular environmental requirements, including obligations to maintain specific environment regulatory standards and to adhere to particular environmental sanitary and phytosanitary measures or technical regulations; (c) the need for technical assistance and capacity building to ensure compliance with environmental obligations; (d) the nature and extent of financial assistance required for implementing such provisions; and (e) the dispute settlement and enforcement mechanisms for such provisions. It analyzes the extent to which PTAs can be a vehicle for countries to address regional environmental concerns, including concerns relating to shared natural resources, and it concludes by discussing practical steps for developing countries to consider when negotiating PTAs.

Suggested Citation

R.V., Anuradha, Environment (January 1, 2011). PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENT POLICIES FOR DEVELOPMENT: A HANDBOOK, Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Jean-Christophe Maur, eds., The World Bank, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1893344

Anuradha R.V. (Contact Author)

Clarus Law Associates ( email )

B 7/9 Safdarjung Enclave
New Delhi, New Delhi 110 029

HOME PAGE: http://www.claruslaw.com

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