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April 17, 2000
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v2.1 Reference

Trade, Environment, and the WTO

The Post-Seattle Agenda

What role should international trade rules and the World Trade Organization (WTO) play in the protection of the environment? While many environmentalists argue that trade rules and procedures must be made more "green," many trade proponents fear that the international trading system will be undermined by extreme demands of environmentalists.

In this essay, Gary Sampson scrutinizes these contending views and assesses the effects of trade liberalization on the environment; the role of the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism; the potential impact of WTO rules, including those dealing with production processes; and the relationship that should exist between the WTO and specific multilateral environmental agreements.

In his discussion of these issues, Sampson puts forward a priority agenda for trade and environmental ministers and proposes ways to enhance the WTO's environmental protection role and strengthen the trading system at the same time.

About the Author

Gary Sampson is currently on leave from the WTO's division on trade and the environment.


This outstanding analysis of the interrelationships between the environment, international trade, and commercial policy is written by an author who has the requisite academic and institutional credentials (former director, World Trade organization's Trade and Environment Division) to write authoritatively on the subject.

- Choice
Overseas Development Council
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9781565170292 : trade-environment-and-the-wto-sampson
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168 Pages
$29.00 USD

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