Legitimation of Trade-Related Environmental Measures under the WTO


Eun Sup Lee


Even though the WTO Appellate Body has consistently tried to confirm its position as the environmentalist of the WTO through the positive environment-friendly interpretations of the environment-related provisions, free trade supporters including developing nations and environmentalists do not seem satisfied with those efforts and performance of the WTO. In order to address more specifically the criticism from both free trade supporters and environmentalists on how to harmonize trade and environmental measures, that is, to reduce the concerns about uncertainty and abuse argumented respectively by each side simultaneously, this article suggests that the exceptions of Article XX (b) would add the trade-related measures for environmental protection and the Agreement on Trade-Related Environmental Measures would be newly established. It is meaningful and essential that the level of trade measures and main contents of the agreement would be decided as same as those under TBT and SPS Agreements considering the harmonized approach of both agreements employed in dealing with linkage between the free trade objectives and the legitimate regulatory objectives such as human health. Considering the important and urgent problem to protect the global environment which faces the world and the practical difficulty of relating legally the multilateral environmental agreement with the WTO provisions due to particularly serious conflicts among the WTO member countries, this suggestion would be appropriate in dealing with trade and environment issue than others suggested so far.


International Law

Date of this Version

September 2006