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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter explores the intricate relationship between contemporary environmental and trade law and policy through the example of electronics recycling. The analysis has taken place in the constitutional settings of regulatory competition and harmonization in the European Community and the United States, and it has built upon an optimistic undertone: that environmental protection and free trade may not only be reconciled, but that there are also situations where they are mutually supportive. Both the American and European resource and waste management policies acknowledge the importance of cooperation in the global integrated economy. The constitutional approaches of regulatory competition and harmonization are built upon different conceptions of the appropriate level of libertarianism in the society. Federal harmonization at last beyond the leveling of the playing field may easily be seen as a form of paternalism, whereby particular environmental practices are forced on the states.

Keywords: contemporary environmental law; electronics recycling; European community; global integrated economy; harmonization; regulatory competition; trade law



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