The World Trade Organization and the Environment

By P. K. Rao | Go to book overview

9
Towards a Better Future

9.1
Multilateral trade, environment and development

If the sole objective of a multilateral trade regime is to ensure smooth and predictable functioning of the global trade activities, with little regard for the interlinks with environmental sustainability, the trade system will not continue to remain smooth nor predictable. The role of information and institutions is very significant in mitigating potential problems.

The operational objectives of multilateral trading system need to be formulated in terms of market institutions and their governance. The issue of governance must be better appreciated in terms of the implications on transaction costs, comprising mainly the costs of undertaking trade transactions as well as the costs of devising institutional arrangements, monitoring and enforcement. The role of welfare enhancing competition policies on a fair and non-discriminatory basis remains the foundation for all approaches toward multilateral trade governance. The natural forces operating on the market institutions constitute the fundamental dynamics, and these can only be partially influenced by the rules of governance. At the crux of the matter remains the issue of 'contestability of markets' (see Baumol et al. ( 1982) for a detailed account of the features). This feature may be characterized in terms of the prevalence of market conditions of the competitive processes wherein the anticompetitive forces due to government or private actions are eliminated so as to ensure unimpeded market access (see also Zampetti and Sauve, 1996).

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The World Trade Organization and the Environment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures x
  • List of Boxes xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xiii
  • List of Abbreviations xv
  • Part I - Background 1
  • 1 - Global Trade Regimes 3
  • 1.5 - Concluding Observations 25
  • Appendix II - Gatt 1994 26
  • Appendix III - Regional Trade Regimes 27
  • References 28
  • 2 - Trade, Environment and Development 31
  • References 52
  • 3 - Multilateral Environmental Agreements 55
  • References 70
  • Part II - The World Trade Organization 73
  • 4 - Wto Articles of Agreement and Beyond 75
  • Appendix Ii: Wto Structure 90
  • Appendix Iii: Agreement on Tbt 91
  • References 93
  • 5 - Trade Policies and Environmental Provisions 95
  • Appendix I - Committee on Trade and Environment 114
  • Appendix II Extract of the Sps Agreement 115
  • References 117
  • 6 - Dispute Resolution Mechanisms 119
  • Appendix I - The Dispute Settlement Panel Process 132
  • Appendix II - Trade Disputes on Bananas 133
  • References 136
  • Part III - Policy Implications 139
  • 7 - International Trade and Environment: an Integration 141
  • References 162
  • 8 - New Role for the Wto 165
  • References 176
  • 9 - Towards a Better Future 177
  • References 181
  • Index 183
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