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Trade Measures as Tools for Environmental Policy

Author(s): Jones, Andrew

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Abstract: Global awareness of the severity of natural resource mismanagement and environmental destruction worldwide has increased markedly in recent years. In the United States, this trend has resulted in heightened popular pressure on government officials to use all available tools—including unilateral trade measures—to influence foreign governments' environmental policies. This paper illustrates current efforts, both unilateral and multilateral, by the U.S. government to affect via trade policy environmental regulation or resource management abroad. It suggests that while unilateral trade measures are easy to administer and can be very effective in shaping environmental policy abroad, they can also be detrimental to U.S. interests in a liberalized world trading system and comprehensive international agreements to deal with global environmental problems. The paper concludes that use of U.S. unilateral trade barriers should be restricted to cases where such action punishes behavior that blatantly and dangerously disrespects a widely accepted international norm. Otherwise, less intrusive alternative policy responses should be preferred.
Publication Date: 1993
Electronic Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 145 - 166
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 4;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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