CEPAL Review No. 62, August 1997
  • E-ISSN: 16840348


One aspect of globalization that Latin American and Caribbean countries will have to confront is the increase in trade restrictions on environmental grounds. Not by chance, the first dispute judged by the new Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization that began to function in February 1996 was an environmental dispute involving the United States and Latin American countries. Two trends -more open economies and rapid growth in international trade, on the one hand, and, on the other, the broader acknowledgement of “environmental responsibilities” by the international community, as expressed in a number of new multilateral environmental agreements- have brought to the forefront two questions: are trade restrictions an effective instrument for implementing environmental policy? and to what extent are environmental restrictions changing international trade and competitiveness? Policy-makers are in fact replying to these questions in contradictory ways, as empirical studies to assess the impact of environment-related trade measures and trade-related environmental measures are only beginning.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development

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