"This paper addresses the alleged conflict between the GATT trade rules and the protection of the environment by GATT members. The author contends that the principal objective of the GATT rules on nontariff trade restrictions is to eliminate government interventions that promote the commercial interests of domestic producers and consumers in a manner that discriminates against foreign producers and consumers in either domestic or international markets. He further contends that this objective fundamentally does not conflict with protecting GATT members' domestic environment or the global environment. The GATT should explicitly recognize the objectives of environmental protection and natural resource consemation, either by an amendment to the GATT Articles or by resolution of the GATT Council. GATT members, in the interest of protecting their national and the global environment, should be free to impose restrictions on imports or exports so long as the interventions conform to the following conditions: (i) restrictions do not have the intent or signficant effect of discriminating against foreign producers or consumers in favor of domestic ones, (ii) restrictions are in the interest of protecting the global environment where the concerns are widely shared by other nations and do not simply reflect unique and parochial views of the individual member, and (iii) restrictions do not constitute an effort to force trading partners to adopt environmental standards of production that have no global or trans-border pollution implications". Copyright 1993 Western Economic Association International.
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