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The Evolution of Jurisprudence on Gatt Article XX

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the balance between trade and environment in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (WTO Agreements). It reviews the key exceptions for environmental measures in GATT and World Trade Organization (WTO) jurisprudence. The chapter traces the evolution of interpretations of these exceptions in GATT 1947 and GATT 1994, and identifies outstanding interpretative issues that have yet to be resolved. Nondiscriminatory internal taxes, border tax adjustments, the "polluter pays principle", product standards, production process requirements, labeling and ingredient disclosure requirements, prohibitions of unhealthy substances, restrictions on cigarette advertising, quantitative internal restrictions and state monopolies were recognized, in conformity with the recommendations of economists, alternative instruments of environmental policy permitted by GATT law. The chapter examines GATT and WTO jurisprudence regarding Article XX (b) and (g) and Article XX chapeau.

Keywords: Article XX chapeau; environmental policy; GATT law; World Trade Organization (WTO) jurisprudence



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