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A review of WTO and environmental issues

By D. P. Stonehouse

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Multiple negotiating rounds of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1947 have conferred economic benefits through liberalized international trade. A growing body of evidence also points to linkages between liberalized trade and damage to the global environment, ecology, and natural resource base. Ironically, the increased economic well-being conferred by trade liberalization ultimately provides the basis for improved environmental protection. It is the interim environmental damage due to trade liberalization that is controversial and needing amelioration. The proposition here is to promote further trade liberalization, but only as long as environmental ethics and sustainability issues are satisfactorily addressed. Trade liberalization should not be permitted at the expense of adequate environmental protection and sustainability. Future WTO rounds need to address both development benefits and environmental ethics issues in a net social welfare maximization setting.

Date 2000
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 13
Issue 1/2
Pages 121-144
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1023/A:1009572126670
Language English
Author Address Department of Agricultural Economics and Business, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Stonehouse, D. P. (2013), "A review of WTO and environmental issues,"

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  1. Economics
  2. Environment
  3. Ethics
  4. International trade
  5. natural resources
  6. peer-reviewed
  7. pollution
  8. sustainability
  9. trade
  10. welfare
  1. peer-reviewed