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KCI등재 학술저널

An Ode to Sea Turtles & Dolphins: Expanding WTO’s Mandate to Bridge the Trade-Environment Divide

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With globalization, the potential for conflict between international trade law and environmental law is rising. Some multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) employ trade restrictions to protect the environment, directly contravening the World Trade Organization (WTO) principle of non-discrimination. Achieving mutual supportiveness between WTO and MEAs will enhance global governance. However, the question of finding the most effective way to harmonize the two regimes remains unanswered. A review of WTO cases involving environmental measures suggests that it is desirable to handle the MEA-WTO conflict within the WTO framework: The best option is to amend the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Article XX. Specifically, the amendment will take the form of adding a new paragraph (k) “in multilateral environmental agreements” to Article XX. This ensures that free traders’ concerns are fully reflected because Article XX’s chapeau, which would automatically apply to (k), affords protection against “arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination” and “disguised restriction on international trade.” Simultaneously, an amendment to Article XX is a straightforward way to account for existing MEAs and prevent prejudicing future MEAs. Harmonizing the potential regime clash is of particular importance to countries in the Asia-Pacific region because the U.S. has imposed unilateral trade-restrictive environmental measures and exporting countries in the region had to resort to the WTO for a resolution. Moreover, achieving mutual supportiveness between the two regimes can help handle the ever-escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

I. Introduction

II. Conflict between Trade and Environment

III. Environment Disputes in GATT/WTO

IV. Harmonization of Environment and Trade

V. Conclusion

References

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