Climate Change Innovation, Products and Services Under the GATT/WTO System
Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change", edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff and published in Spring 2016 by EE Elgar
59 Pages Posted: 16 May 2016 Last revised: 20 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 1, 2016
This is Chapter 14 of the book entitled "Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change", edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff and published in Spring 2016 by EE Elgar. The co-authors are Professors of Law specializing in International Trade Law.
The chapter aims to identify some of the major sources of tension between climate change-related measures proposed or implemented on the national level and the trading rules as they have been applied by the WTO dispute settlement bodies over the past nearly 20 years. The chapter first describes three categories of national approaches to climate change, and highlights the potential competitiveness concerns raised by each. It then discusses selected WTO provisions that are most likely to be used to evaluate WTO treaty-compliance of the three categories of national measures. These include an analysis of Articles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), other Annex 1A Agreements addressing trade in goods, and a brief discussion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Finally, the chapter focuses on WTO and US trade remedy laws, as countries may utilize these provisions and mechanisms to address competitiveness issues that will inevitably come about, such as from subsidizing green technologies. The chapter ultimately discusses the importance of reaching an international agreement on reducing tariffs on international trade in environmentally friendly goods, and of reducing greenhouse emissions so that national actions are less likely to be unilateral measures.
Keywords: climate change, WTO, GATT, WTO dispute settlement, trade remedies
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