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The Role of Core Gatt Obligations

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Chapter Summary

The key General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) obligations that are typically contravened in trade and environment disputes are national treatment (Article III), most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment (Article I) and the general rule against quantitative restrictions (Article XI). Non-discrimination is a fundamental principle underlying the GATT, and other World Trade Organiation (WTO) agreements. This chapter considers the application of the principle of non-discrimination to environmental measures in the GATT. It examines the MFN and national treatment rules. The chapter discusses how the term "like products" may restrict the range of environmental goals that may be pursued using trade measures. National treatment and MFN must also apply to multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) measures, in order to prevent abuse in the manner in which they are implemented and applied in domestic law.

Keywords: GATT obligations; most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment; World Trade Organiation (WTO) agreements



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