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The Problem of Unequal Access to Unilateral Measures

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how the authorization of unilateral trade measures under General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XX creates a problem of unequal access to the rights provided by that provision, due to the effect that market power has on access to the right. It begins with discussion of the extent to which unilateral measures may be effective in resolving the problem of free riders in international environmental protection. The chapter considers the analogous situation of the use of countermeasures under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), where the effective use of trade measures to enforce dispute settlement rulings is complicated by variations in the market power of WTO members. Indeed, some argue that interpreting WTO rules to prevent use of unilateral trade measures to protect the environment could exacerbate free rider problems and inhibit the negotiation of cooperative solutions to global environmental problems.

Keywords: dispute settlement rulings; GATT; unequal access; unilateral trade measures

10.1163/ej.9781571053664.i-346.45
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9781571053664.i-346.45
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