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Trade in the Service of Sustainable Development

Linking Trade to Labour Rights and Environmental Standards

By: Olivier De Schutter
Media of Trade in the Service of Sustainable Development
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Published: 10-09-2015
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 224
ISBN: 9781782257158
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP : £50.00
 

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Loren Epson

About Trade in the Service of Sustainable Development

In the Bretton Woods era, trade liberalization, the improvement of labour rights and working conditions, and the strengthening of environmental policies, were seen as mutually supportive. But is this always true? Can we continue to pretend to protect the rights of workers and to improve environmental protection, particularly through climate change mitigation strategies, within an agenda focused on trade liberalization? Is it credible to pursue trade policies that aim to expand the volumes of trade, without linking such policies to labour and environmental standards, seen as 'non-trade' concerns? This book asks these questions, offering a detailed analysis of whether linkage is desirable and legally acceptable under the disciplines of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It concludes that trade can work for sustainable development, but only if we see it as a means for social and environmental progress, including climate change mitigation, and if we avoid fetichizing it as an end to be pursued for its own sake.

Table Of Contents

Introduction
1. Setting the Stage: The Limits of Fragmentation
I. Trade and Labour Rights
II. Trade and Environmental Standards
III. The Use of Environmental and Labour Conditionalities in Trade Policies
2. Sanctions Against Goods or Services that do not Comply: WTO Disciplines
I. The Core Disciplines of the WTO Regime
II. The 'Likeness' of Goods and Services and the Product/Process Distinction
III. The 'General Exceptions' Clauses of Article XX
GATT and Article XIV GATS
IV. Conclusion
3. The Special Regime of Border Tax Adjustments: Levelling the Playing Field
I. The Notion of Border Tax Adjustments
II. Border Tax Adjustments under WTO Law
III. Determining the Level of the Compensatory Tax
IV. Conclusion
4. Generalized Systems of Preferences: The ' Conditional Preferences ' Approach
I. The Origins of the Generalized System of Preferences
II. The Emergence of 'Special Incentives' within the EU GSP Scheme
III. The Three Layers of the Current EU GSP Scheme
5. Labelling Schemes: Supporting Ethical Consumerism
I. The Rise of the Debate on Labelling Schemes
II. Compatibility with WTO Law
6. Public Procurement: The Power of the Purse
7. Conclusions
I. 'Sanctions' for Non-compliance with Labour Rights or Environmental Standards
II. 'Carbon Equalization' through Border Tax Adjustments: Levelling the Playing Field
III. The EU Generalized System of Preferences: Making Preferences Conditional
IV. Labelling Schemes: Supporting Ethical Consumerism
V. Government Procurement: The Power of the Purse

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