Paris, Panels, and Protectionism: Matching U.S. Rhetoric with Reality to Save the Planet

57 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2016 Last revised: 2 Jun 2017

See all articles by Abbey Stemler

Abbey Stemler

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law

Scott Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research; Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stanford Law School

Eric Richards

Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law

Date Written: February 13, 2016

Abstract

U.S. rhetoric has not matched reality in the free trade or sustainability contexts, as may be seen by the ongoing debates surrounding a range of behaviors that violate international trade rules. The U.S. government’s failure to adhere to the rules that it was instrumental in crafting sets a particularly troubling precedent. These trade distortions reduce trust and respect among countries and undermine efforts to combat climate change. Simultaneously, we are witnessing a growing preference for “minilateral” agreements as may be seen in the Obama Administration’s push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and U.S.-EU Trade Pact. The Chinese government has pursued a similar approach in the context of financial governance and, with its recent creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, has also exhibited a willingness to circumvent existing global institutions. Concurrently, the international community has been engaged in negotiations under the umbrella of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to mitigate the threat of global climate change and similarly promote sustainability, most recently via the Paris Agreement.

This Article identifies a series of inconsistencies in U.S. trade policies and completes a comparative case study on the ongoing disputes between China and the United States surrounding solar energy subsidies in hopes of finding opportunities for collective action that promotes both free trade and sustainability. It also pinpoints roadblocks to promoting both the free trade and sustainability movements, and through the lens of the literature on polycentric governance, discusses the trend towards - as well as the benefits and drawbacks of - minilateral and multilateral approaches to furthering sustainable development.

Keywords: Sustainability, Trade Policy, China, WTO

Suggested Citation

Stemler, Abbey and Shackelford, Scott J. and Richards, Eric, Paris, Panels, and Protectionism: Matching U.S. Rhetoric with Reality to Save the Planet (February 13, 2016). Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, 2016; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 16-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732026 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2732026

Abbey Stemler (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Scott J. Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs ( email )

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Stanford Center for Internet and Society ( email )

Palo Alto, CA
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Eric Richards

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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