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Environmental Protection versus Trade Liberalization : Finding the Balance

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Sandra L. Walker

VII. Conclusion

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This study began by noting the competing characterizations of environmental regulations – environmental protection measures or disguised restrictions on trade. As the above discussion has evidenced, national and international environmental rules may restrict international trade even though that may not be their objective. The result is that international trade law may cast its net too broadly, capturing not only protectionist measures in «green» guise but also bona fide environmental regulations.

As this review of the GATT provisions and the related jurisprudence has shown, a GATT panel could readily find some environmental measures in contravention of GATT provisions. National rules which regulate the environmental consequences of product use and disposal are vulnerable because it is likely that they will impose a heavier adjustment burden on foreign products in view of the probability that consultations have occurred between government and the local industry, and that the legislati...

© Presses de l’Université Saint-Louis, 1993

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