Recent Books on Trade and Environment: GATT Phantoms Still Haunt the WTO
18 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2004
WTO jurisprudence, in particular in the area of trade and environment, continues to evolve. Books on the same topic roll off the academic presses as never before. Yet, not all of these publications have fully appreciated the dramatic change that took place with the shift from GATT to the WTO, especially the more nuanced decisions by the Appellate Body. This essay reviews four recent books on trade and environment. It sets the debate in a wider framework and then focuses on the extent to which trade rules genuinely prohibit ecological state intervention. Its main objective is to dispel some of the GATT-inspired myths that keep haunting the WTO, in particular to point at the narrowed scope of prohibited discrimination, the accepted extra-territorial effect of certain regulations (including the possibility to justify regulations based on process or production methods) and the increased relevance, including before WTO panels, of environmental agreements negotiated outside the WTO.
Keywords: international trade, environment, WTO
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