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Environmental Protection versus Trade Liberalization : Finding the Balance

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Sandra L. Walker

VI. Institutional perspective on the environment within GATT

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The above analysis of the treatment of environmental regulation by international trade law regimes has focussed primarily on how trade liberalization and environmental protection goals are balanced in the GATT (including the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement panels’ interpretation thereof) and EC law. This Part addresses institutional aspects of the GATT which fundamentally influence how environmental protection objectives are treated, including the Panel process and the role for environmental principles. (Reference is made to European Community and North American experience, where relevant.) Such issues have gained a new prominence over the last few years in international fora. For example, the UNCED’s Agenda 21 calls for governments to clarify the role of GATT, inter alia, «in dealing with trade and environment-related issues, including, where relevant, conciliation procedure and dispute settlement»281, and «to identify and prevent actual or potential conflicts, particularly between ...

© Presses de l’Université Saint-Louis, 1993

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