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Environment International Trade Agreements

One area in which the Committee on Trade and the Environment needs further debate is the question of how to deal with the WTO`s rules on the labelling of technical barriers to trade, which describes whether the way a product is manufactured (unlike the product itself) is environmentally friendly. There are now a number of international agreements (for example. B the Basel Convention on the Control of Cross-Border Movements of Dangerous Waste and Its Disposal, as well as the London Guidelines on the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade). The WTO Committee on Trade and the Environment does not intend to double its work, but it also notes that the WTO could play a complementary role. In general, WTO members are convinced that an open, fair and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system must make an important contribution to national and international efforts to improve the protection and conservation of environmental resources and promote sustainable development. This was recognized in the conclusions of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio (Earth Summit) and its 2002 successor, the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The inclusion of environmental legislation in bilateral and regional trade agreements has also contributed to the harmonization of environmental legislation between developed and developing countries. Higher economies can provide resources and institutions for capacity building and encourage less developed partners to strengthen environmental legislation. The OECD has addressed many trade and environmental issues, such as environmental and regional agreements (ATRs), the drivers of RTA environmental legislation and the rigour of environmental policy as a driver of trade in environmental goods and services.

We are also developing a series of policy indicators on trade and the environment to monitor progress towards greater policy coherence and to identify policy priorities at the interface of trade and the environment. About 20 of them contain provisions that could affect trade: for example, they prohibit trade in certain products or allow certain countries to restrict trade in certain circumstances. These include the Montreal Protocol on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Basel Convention on Trade or Transport of Dangerous Waste Across International Borders, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The task of the panels was limited to examining how the GATT rules apply to this issue. It was not asked whether the policy was ecologically correct or not. He proposed to bring U.S. policy into line with GATT rules if members agree to accept changes or make a decision to waive the specific rules on this issue.

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