Can Free Trade Agreements and their Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Help Protect the Environment and Public Health? The CPTTP, MARPOL73/78 and COVID-19
This paper is a considerably updated and expanded version of Jie (Jeanne) Huang and Jiaxiang Hu, "Can Free Trade Agreement Enhance MARPOL 73/78 Compliance?" 43 Tulane Maritime Law Journal 59, 59-91 (Winter 2018).
24 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 14, 2020
Preventing or managing a global pandemic such as COVID-19 requires states to strictly comply with International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR). However, they lack a strong enforcement mechanism, like many multilateral environmental protection agreements. Over the past fifteen years, several such conventions have been incorporated into free trade agreements (FTAs) to enhance State compliance and therefore promote environmental protection. A typical example is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and its Protocols (MARPOL 73/78). Vessels, like viruses, are globally mobile. Vessel-sourced pollution also mirrors human-carried viral infection, because the locations of potential harm are unpredictable and widespread. This Chapter examines first whether FTAs (especially mega-regional FTAs) can effectively encourage States to comply with MARPOL 73/78. Through this analysis, it generates implications regarding whether the IHR regime could also rely on new or renegotiated FTAs, or be reformed directly, to enhance state compliance with public health initiatives.
Keywords: Free trade agreements, dispute resolution, MARPOL 73/78, International Health Regulations 2005, COVID-19 pandemic
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation