Chapter Fifteen: Environmental Law and International Trade


I. The Trade and Environment Debate

Leaked Memo Warning The Business Community About The Implications of Activists and Seattle - provided by Common Dreams, this memo from a corporate lobbying firm warns Corporate America about the growing ability of grassroots organizations to impact business interests as demonstrated at the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle

Trade and Environment Database Research Projects on Water and Environment Issues - contains links to case studies on the Hungary dam, San Diego-Tijuana water problems, Ataturk Dam, Colorado River Dispute between U.S. and Mexico, Israel-Jordan water dispute, Lesotho water exports, Mekong River dam, Baikal wood pulp pollution, James Bay project, and Aral Sea loss and cotton

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) - engaging a broad range of actors in ongoing dialogue about trade and sustainable development

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) - meets this challenge by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and indicators, and natural resource management to make development sustainable.

Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) - publications dealing with sustainable development and trade

RIIA Sustainable Development Programme- working to carry out and publish research on key energy and environmental issues with international implications, particularly those just emerging into the consciousness of policy-makers

    A. Argument For Liberalized International Trade
1. Efficient Use of Scarce Resources

The Theory of Comparative Advantage - explaining the theory of comparative advantage and providing biographical information on David Ricardo

2. Wealth Creation

Trade Liberalization and Sustainable Development - provides a full text of the WTO argument on the role liberalization of international trade flows plays in protecting the environment and generating sustainable development

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy - creates environmentally and economically sustainable rural communities and regions through sound agriculture and trade policy

3. Information Dissemination
In Focus: Democratizing the Trade Debate - by Lance Compa, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, articulating democratization in trade and investment policy as power sharing rather than opinion sharing

    B. Argument Against Liberalized Trade
Movement Against 'Free' Trade - provides links to organizations and information against trade liberalization

1. Environmental and Other Social Preferences

Agrarian Lifestyle Links - provides links to information on sustainable agriculture, agri-alternatives, agricultural journals and more

Committee in Solidarity With The People of El Salvador - a grassroots organization that supports Salvadorean people in social and economic justice and promotes an alternative to capitalism, citing it as an unfair and environmentally unsustainable economic system

NO2WTO - an anarchist group formed to protest against the WTO and a global economic system that exploits people and the environment

Oxfam International Fair Trade Program - campaigns to raise awareness about unfair world trade and to encourage consumers, traders, and governments to create market opportunities that would benefit poor producers and their communities

People For Fair Trade - a group composed of individuals, churches and other organizations in Australia that is committed to alternative trade that is based on the improvement of living conditions of producers and their communities

Human Rights, Trade and Investment - by the People's Decade of Human Rights Education, covers discussions on trade and its impact on economic, social and cultural rights

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch - a division of Public Citizen, promotes health and safety, environmental protection, economic justice, and government and corporate accountability in international commercial agreements

2. Chilling and the Race to the Bottom

AFL-CIO Position on Workers' Rights and the Global Economy - urges the mobilization of working families to protect workers' rights and the environment through campaigns to change international trade and investment rules, highlighting the WTO and free trade with China

IAM Objects to Free Trade with China - the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) opposes U.S. Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China based on the absence of internationally recognized labor standards and other fundamental human rights in the agreement

Sheet Metal Workers' International Association - aims to establish and maintain desirable working conditions that allows workers and their families to enjoy commensurate comfort, happiness, and security for their labor

The Teamsters Oppose PNTR for China - the International Brotherhood of Teamsters protest against free trade with China, citing its abuse of workers´┐Ż and human rights, its intolerance for an independent labor movement, and its illegal export of goods produced in forced labor camps

UNITE Political Action Issues - the Union of Needle Traders, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) campaigns to defeat PNTR with China and to kill the CBI Africa trade bill in the House of Representatives

UAW Action Program on Trade Policy - the United Automobile Workers urges the WTO to create a new agenda with rules that protect the rights of workers, the environment, consumers and family farmers

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) - issues policy statements to the WTO, discussing investment, services, development and other areas of WTO policy as they relate to trade and labor standards

United Farm Workers - campaigns on behalf of farm workers' interests

USWA Position on the WTO  - the United Steelworkers of America declares that the WTO must fundamentally change its labor rights and environmental agreements for a set of global trading rules that help workers, the environment, and democracy

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) - an international coalition dedicated to stopping sweatshop labor by initiating a Sweat-Free Campus Campaign which targets universities' use of licensed apparel made under sweatshop conditions

3. National Defense and Sovereignty

A Catalog of New US Unilateral Economic Sanctions For Foreign Policy Purposes 1993-96 - provides information on unilateral economic sanctions and relevant statistics, to include actions for environmental protection

4. Ecological Economics

Steady-State Economics by Herman E. Daly - provides a summary of steady-state economics, to include strategies for integrating economics and ecology

International Society of Ecological Economics - outlines how the emerging interdisciplinary perspective of Ecological Economics can be of use in providing conceptual and concrete approaches to identifying, understanding and maintaing those features of ecosystem and human economic interactions that are necessary to achieve sustainable futures for economic and natural systems

    C. The Complexity of the Trade and Environment Debate
Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment - an organization formed by environmental and labor leaders to make corporations be responsible for their actions affecting working people, communities and the environment by campaigning the WTO and various companies

Trade, Investment and the Environment - a Friends of the Earth program, strives to guarantee the protection of the environment and public health through the promotion of fair international trade rules and democratic reform in the WTO

Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) Information - a coalition of labor, environmental, consumer, and other groups that work toward social and environmental justice in U.S. trade policy, provides an archive of postings through its listserve

Consumer Agenda for Trade - by Consumers International, discusses trade liberalization and urges that the WTO raise consumer health and safety over commercial interests in agreements relating trade with patents, food safety, product standards and environmental measures

FOCUS-on-Trade Electronic Bulletin - by FOCUS, a non-profit, analyzes organizations such as the APEC, the WTO, the AFTA, the MAI, and the IMF from an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective by covering economic, ecological, political, gender and social issues related to world trade

Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program - campaigns to democritize U.S. trade policy by opening the USTR to public participation, by requiring advance notice of decisions, and by requiring thorough environmental review of proposed trade agreements

II. The International Trade System
Linkages Trade and Sustainable Development Site - provides updates and reports on international meetings concerning trade and sustainable development

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development - provides trade analysis and updates to NGOs in order to contribute to a better understanding of development and environment; represents NGO concerns at key policy-making fora on trade and development; publishes an excellent free newsletter on recent developments, called Bridges

    A. Origins of the GATT and WTO
The World Trade Organization: A Guide for Environmentalists - provides an overview of the GATT/WTO, articles and agreements relevant to environmental issues, summaries of environmental cases within GATT/WTO and discussion of relevant trade and environment issues

The Foundations of the World Trading System - explains what the World Trade Organization is, the principles of the trading system and the case for open trade

Federal Bulletin Board File Libraries: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - provides text of reports by the International Trade Commission concerning the impact of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement on the U.S.

World Trade Organization - deals with the global rules of trade between nations

    B. GATT's Core Priniciples and the Debate over "PPMS"
Susan Fletcher's Presentation: American Ideas on Sustainable Solutions - includes a discussion on trade and environment in relation to processes or production methods (PPMs) that harm the environment
    C. The Environment Exceptions to GATT - Article XX
1. Introduction

WTO Rules Against US in Turtle Case - reporting that the WTO ruled that a U.S. trade ban designed to protect endangered sea turtles violates global trade rules

2. Article XX(b) - Protection of Human, Animal and Plant Life or Health

GATT Tuna-Dolphin II: Environmental Protection Continues to Clash with Free Trade - describes Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) trade restrictions and the panel findings in the cases of Tuna-Dolphin I and II, with an assessment of the cases and discusses implications for future disputes over environmentally motivated trade measures

3. Article XX(g) - Protection of Exhaustible Natural Resources

Amicus Brief to the Panel on United States States - Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products (September 17, 1997) - provides the complete text of the amicus brief submitted by CIEL, CMC, Philippine Ecological Network, Red Nacional de Accion Ecologia and Environmental Foundation Ltd.

Appellate Body Decision in the Shrimp-Turtle case - provides the complete text of the WTO decision

4. The Chapeau to Article XX

Summary of Shrimp-Turtle case - describes the Appellate Decision of the WTO panel on the shrimp/turtle dispute, including a discussion of the chapeau to Article XX re-discovered in Reformulated Gasoline

    D. The Relationship Between the WTO and Multilateral Environmental Agreements
UNEP Trade and Environment - provides monographs and workshop documents that can be viewed on-line or downloaded
    E. The World Trade Organization and the Environment
1. Structure of WTO

The Structure of WTO - provides a general overview of how the WTO is organized and its general functions

a. The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

Harmonization, Trade, and the Environment - reproduced by CIESIN, discusses the debate between the TBT Agreement, which encourages the harmonization of standards internationally to avoid trade distortions, and environmental policies, which harmonize environmental standards

b. Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Food Safety and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Issues - provides an overview of SPS measures and additional links for further information

The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on International Trade and Agriculture in East Africa - aims to assist participating African nations in building background and expertise in the intellectual property aspects of biotechnology, particularly in agriculture

American Seed Trade Association: Development of New Plant Varieties and Protection of Intellectual Property - favors strong intellectual property protection necessary to ensure an acceptable return on research investment and to encurage further research efforts, essential to meet the challenges mankind has to face in the coming years, i.e., feeding an increasing population whilst preserving the planet

The Review of TRIPS Article 27.3 - an International Chamber of Commerce policy statement, states that the ICC supports maintaining the existing wording of Article 27.3(b) without change, which deals with the patentability of plants or animals

Genetic Engineering & Intellectual Property Rights Resource Center - focuses on international trade policies, practices, and treaties that affect consumers, farmers and rural communities in the United States and around the world, to include the 1999 review of the TRIPs Agreement and relevant national laws and policies

An Analysis of the WTO Beef Growth Hormone Ruling - argues that WTO's expanded authority to review nondiscriminatory domestic health and environmental laws restricts WTO member countries from maintaining zero tolerance for beef containing growth hormones

ASIL Brief on GMO Regulation in US and EU - describes the differing viewpoints regarding GMO regulation, particularly with respect to the approval of GMOs by food safety regulatory bodies and the labeling of GMOs

2. The Dispute Settlement Body

WTO: Dispute Settlement - provides an overview of how the WTO settles disputes and relevant information

3. Committee on Trade and Environment

WTO's Committee on Trade and Environment - describes CTE's mandate, principles, and work

4. Public Participation in the WTO

Public Participation and the WTO - reports that the ICTSD orgnized two workshops at the WTO Ministerial to discuss the creation of a mechanism to increase public participation in the WTO

III. Trade in the Americas
    A. Introduction
Foreign Trade Information System (SICE) of the Organization of American States: Texts of Trade Agreements - provides full texts of trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere
    B. NAFTA
1. The NAFTA Debate

North American Free Trade Agreement Between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States, and the Governmental of the United States of America - provides the full text of NAFTA

a. Fast-Track Negotiating Authority

National Wildlife Federation: Trade and Environment Program - describes NWF's position on supporting "fast-track" only if it identifies environment as a primary negotiating objective

b. Public Pressure and the 1992 Presidential Campaign

NAFTA Prompts Health Concerns Across the Borders - describes the arguments concerning NAFTA during the 1992 presidential election, discussing the impact on jobs and the environment

c. The Mexican Perspective on NAFTA

The Mexican Action Network on Free Trade: NAFTA and the Mexican Environment - provides arguments that NAFTA has been detrimental to the Mexican environment and proposes changes to NAFTA

    C. NAFTA's Environmental Provisions
NAFTA at Five: School of Real-Life Results: The Environment - provided by Public Citizen, argues that NAFTA has been detrimental to the environment, citing the Ethyl Corporation case
    D. Environmental Side Agreement: The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation
North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation Between the Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America - includes the full text of the agreement

1. Objectives and General Commitments

Part One: Objectives - provides text of Article 1

Part Two: Obligations - provides text of Article 2

2. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

Commission for Environmental Cooperation - facilitates cooperation and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment for the benfit of present and future generations, in the context of increasing economic, trade and social links between Canada, Mexico and the United States

a. Article 13 Reports

CEC Secretariat Report on the Death of Migratory Birds at the Silva Reservoir (1994-95) - provides the complete text of the report in PDF format

b. Citizen Submissions Under Articles 14 and 15 of the Environment Side Agreement

Submissions on Enforcement Matters - Articles 14 & 15 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation - provides an overview of the citizen submissions process, a registry, public files and new guidelines information

c. Consultations and Dispute Resolution

Part Five: Consultation and Resolution of Disputes - provides full text of Articles 22 to 36 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation

d. CEC Programs and the North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation

North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation (NAFEC) - acts as a source of funding for community-based environmental projects in Canada, Mexico and the United States

    E. The U.S. - Mexico Border Environment Cooperation Agreement
1. The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC)

Border Environment Cooperation Commission - assists communities on both sides of the U.S. - Mexico border in coordinating and carrying out environmental infrastructure projects

2. North American Development Bank (NADBank)

North American Development Bank - facilitates financing for the development, execution and operation of environmental infrastructure projects that have been certified by the BECC

    F. NAFTA's Environmental Impact
Study on the Operation and Effect of the North American Free Trade Agreement - provides a letter to Congress from President Clinton, from the report issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and related entities
    G. Toward Trade Liberalization Throughout the Americas
Trade Unit: Toward Free Trade in the Americas - includes full texts of all free trade and common market agreements in the Western Hemisphere are available in this database
IV. The European Union
Treaty Establishing the European Community as Amended by Subsequent Treaties - provides the full text of the Treaty of Rome, which established the EC with the purpose of making economically interdependent countries closer politically in order to decrease the level of animosity that could cause armed conflict

Cassis de Dijon: Judgment of the Court of Justice - rules on the free movement of goods and measures having an effect equivalent to quantitative restrictions, to include a "rule of reason" analysis

Commission of the European Communities v. Kingdom of Denmark - provides a summary of the Danish Bottles case

V. Foreign Investment and the Environment
    A. Introduction
International Finance Corporation: Environment and Social Review - provides links to newly adopted IFC-specific environmental, social and disclosure policies, procedures and guidelines
    B. Integrating Environmental Standards Into Investment Agreements
IFC Report Highlights Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Markets - reports an in-depth study that reviews the interaction between policy frameworks and the volume and performance of foreign direct investment

The Multilateral Agreement on Investment & Latin America - discusses the proposed MAI and the effects accession to the agreement would have on Latin American countries

Directorate-General XVII at the European Commission: Energy & Transport - ensures security of energy supplies for European citizens and businesses at competitive prices and in an environmental compatible way

50 Years is Enough - a network of 205 grassroots, faith-based, policy, women's, social-and economic-justice, youth, environmental, labor, and development groups organized to change the nature of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into fair and accountable financial institutions

Global Exchange - a human rights organization campaigning to reform institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO and to encourage the development of alternative economic institutions that support environmental, political and social justice