E. Bryan - WTO and The Environment


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Evaluation of whether WTO disputes on environmental issues have been supportive of environmental protection?

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E. Bryan - WTO and The Environment

  1. 1. Informational Session WTO & Environmental Protection Emerson O. St. G. Bryan Information & Document Management Officer Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery
  2. 2. Assignment Question Evaluate whether WTO disputes on Informational Session environmental issues have been supportive of environmental protection?
  3. 3. Session Outline: First Things, First… Informational Session Structure of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues Conclusion 17/03/2009
  4. 4. Informational Session First Things, First…
  5. 5. First things, first… Why do we need to examine this? The Parties to this Agreement, Informational Session Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand, and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services, while allowing for the optimal use of the world’s resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development, seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO
  6. 6. Informational Session What is the WTO?
  7. 7. What is the WTO? (1) Organization of 152 Member States; Created Through the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations; Informational Session Successor to the General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs - GATT (1948-1994); Supported by a Secretariat in Geneva; System of Rules to govern trade between nations; A forum for negotiations; A means for settling trade disputes; Single undertaking of decisions. (Source: Marrakesh Agreement, 1994)
  8. 8. What is the WTO? (2) Simple Structure of the WTO Informational Session
  9. 9. What is the WTO? (3) Ministerial Conference Meets once every 2 years Informational Session General Council (i) Oversees the operations of the WTO and its ministerial decisions; (ii) Acts as a dispute settlement body; (iii) Trade review mechanism. Subsidiary Bodies: Goods Council Services Council TRIPS Council
  10. 10. Informational Session Dispute Settlement Mechanism
  11. 11. Dispute Settlement Mechanism (1) The dispute settlement procedures for trade have been strengthened since the Uruguay Round. There is now Informational Session a unified settlement procedure covering the areas of: goods, services and investment. Annex 2, Marrakesh Agreement
  12. 12. Dispute Settlement Mechanism (2) Understanding on Rules & Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) Informational Session DSU Article 3.2 “The dispute settlement system of the WTO is a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system”
  13. 13. Dispute Settlement Mechanism (3) Method of bringing a complaint, establishing a panel, appealing- Informational Session Source: WTO website
  14. 14. Dispute Settlement Mechanism (4) Informational Session Source: WTO Trade & Environment Division
  15. 15. Informational Session Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues
  16. 16. Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues (1) 6 under GATT 4 under WTO  US-Gasoline Informational Session  US-Canadian Tuna  US-Shrimp (US Shrimp Art. 21.5)  Canada-Salmon & Herring  EC-Biotech Products  Thailand-Cigarettes  Brazil-Rethreaded Tyres  US-Tuna (Mexico)  US-Tuna (EEC)  US-Automobiles
  17. 17. Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues (2) WTO Principles: Non-discrimination: Informational Session Most Favoured Nation (MFN): Art. I-GATT, Art. II-GATS, & Art. IV-TRIPS National Treatment: Art. III-GATT, Art. XVII-GATS, & Art. III-TRIPS
  18. 18. Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues (3) GATT Article XX (General Exceptions) Informational Session Exceptions for measures: (b) Necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health (g) Relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources Natural resources:  “Chapeau” not applied in a manner which constitutes:  a means of arbitrary/ unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade.
  19. 19. Trade Disputes on Environmental Issues (4) Steps to be followed in a dispute: There must be an inconsistency with a GATT rule; Informational Session The Member whose measure is inconsistent with the GATT has to follow a 2 tiered analysis and should demonstrate: 1. First, that the measure comes within the scope of one of the exceptions 2. Second, that the measure does not constitute an abuse under Article XX chapeau Source: WTO Trade & Environment Division, 2007
  20. 20. Informational Session Conclusion
  21. 21. Conclusion Issues with trade & environment disputes in the WTO Informational Session  No real test of the DSU (disputes so far?..Settled through mutual agreement)  Legal Capacity Issues  Protectionism can be introduced under the guise of a T & E dispute  Development hindering for the South  T& E overloads the Negotiating Agenda  WTO is only competent to deal with trade matters  Time for a World Environmental Organization?
  22. 22. Informational Session Any Questions?