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An enquiry into the use of international trade measures as environmental policy instruments.

Wilkinson, Derrick Gordon (1999) An enquiry into the use of international trade measures as environmental policy instruments. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The links and overlapping areas of concern between international trade policy and environment policy are many and varied, and a number of often competing interests at stake, each of which must be accommodated. Thus far, the debate on this issue has been characterised by a distinct lack of agreement on how to proceed, due to a lack of a common analytical framework; each of the main communities in the debate have sought to impose their agendas, priorities and analyses. In light of this, the first purpose of this thesis is to determine whether or not there exists a legitimate role for international trade policy instruments in the conduct of environment policy. This enquiry takes to be indisputable that the protection and maintenance of a healthy and stable environment must be accorded a higher priority than anything else, including the international trading system, to the extent that they are otherwise irreconcilable. Therefore, Chapter 2 examines the basis on which environmental standards should be established, and the extent to which they should be harmonised. To determine whether the use of trade policy instruments to achieve the necessary environmental standards should be considered legitimate, Chapters 3, 4 and 5 present and discuss three tests. It is argued that the use of trade-related environmental policy instruments (TREPI) should be considered to be legitimate only if it meets all three of these tests. This three-part legitimacy test describes a decision-making process, and is a useful way of organising and analysing policy problems concerning the relationship between international trade policy and environment policy. Chapter 6 considers two actual disputes and a potential case to show how this legitimacy test might work. This latter case involves the analysis of significant new evidence about the commercial impact of environmental and animal welfare regulations on UK agriculture. By adopting the simple approach proposed in this thesis we seek to avoid the fundamental conflict caused by the epistemological and analytical assumptions and biases of each of the three communities: the international trade community, the environmental community, and the development community. Instead a more objective means of considering the complex of issues is proposed. The three tests are independent of any of the three communities and, in their simplicity, could be applied to a wide range of problems. Applied to the trade and environment issue, they demonstrate their objectivity by the conclusions they lead to: on some points they lend support to the interests of each of the three communities, while on others they do not. To the extent that an appropriate role for trade policy instruments in the conduct of environment policy is found, the second purpose of this enquiry is to consider whether or not, and in what ways, the current international trading system frustrates or facilitates such a use. Chapter 7 discusses, in three parts, the environmental effects of international trade liberalisation. In Chapter 8, the scope for possible amendments to the GATT system is considered by reference to the environmental provisions of the NAFTA. Finally, the use of domestic trade remedy laws as environment policy instruments is considered in Chapter 9.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Environmental Justice, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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